This Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, please join the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation, The NOCCA Institute, and their community partners for Plessy Day. Through a series of events, we’ll celebrate the efforts of Homer Plessy and the Citizens’ Committee to challenge legal segregation in the 1890s. These gatherings will also allow participants to discuss today’s ongoing struggles for social, political, economic, and educational justice.
One of the highlights of the weekend will take place on Saturday, June 6, from 12 noon to 2:00pm at the corner of Royal and Press Streets in the Faubourg Marigny — the site of Plessy’s famous arrest on June 7, 1892. There, we’ll host a free community meal and a story circle that will discuss what it means to be organizing and working for justice in New Orleans today — in the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, five years after the BP disaster, ten years after Hurricane Katrina, 50 years after Selma, and 119 years after Plessy vs. Ferguson. What would the Citizens’ Committee think of us today?
On Sunday, June 7, join us from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ (1914 North Miro Street) for archival presentations and discussions on New Orleans history and the continuing struggle for civil rights. Panelists include Keith Weldon Medley, A.P. Tureaud Jr., Keith Plessy, and local high school students. The Plessy & Ferguson Foundation Freedom Fighter’s Award will be presented to Mr. Jerome Smith and Attorney Willie M. Zanders Sr.
And on Sunday night, join us for a free outdoor screening of the movie Selma, starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, and Oprah Winfrey. The screening will be preceded by a short documentary about education reform in New Orleans, directed by Phoebe Ferguson, a descendant of John Howard Ferguson, the defendant in Plessy v. Ferguson. The screening will be held at Press Street Gardens, located at the corner of Press and Dauphine Streets. The Gardens will open at 7:00pm, with the screening to begin at 8:00pm. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic on the grounds for the event.