Award-winning author and Washington Post senior editor Steve Luxenberg draws from letters, diaries, and archival collections to tell the story of Plessy v. Ferguson through the eyes of the people caught up in the case. His new book, Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation depicts indelible figures such as the resisters from the mixed-race community of French New Orleans, led by Louis Martinet, a lawyer and crusading newspaper editor; Homer Plessy’s lawyer, Albion Tourgée, a best-selling author and the country’s best-known white advocate for civil rights; Justice Henry Billings Brown, from antislavery New England, whose majority ruling endorsed separation; and Justice John Harlan, the Southerner from a slaveholding family whose singular dissent cemented his reputation as a steadfast voice for justice. Luxenberg will discuss the book and its current-day relevance with Judge Robert Bell, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court – from 1996 to 2013. He was the first African-American to hold the position. The Ivy Bookshop will have copies of the book for sale at a book signing following the program.
This event is co-sponsored with the Pratt Library, as part of its Writers LIVE series. OSI-Baltimore’s Talking About Race series is supported by John Meyerhoff, M.D and Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff and Vernon and Rosalind Reid.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.