Our Homer Plessy Way
NOCCA is known as the home to creative artists, who branch off to achieve major accomplishments as professionals in their field of work. The Marigny facility where students received arts training today has deeper roots in history. NOCCA lies on a historical landmark case: Plessy vs. Ferguson.
In 1892, one-eighth African American, Homer Plessy, protested the 1890 Separate Car Act. He boarded the “Whites Only” railroad car on Press Street, leading to his arrest. In New Orleans Criminal Court, Judge John H. Ferguson ruled in favor of East Louisiana Railroad, upholding the state law, “equal but separate accommodations”. Next, the case brought to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896, ruled in favor of Judge Ferguson, establishing the unconstitutional precedent, “separate but equal”.
More than one century later, on Thursday, May 31, The NOCCA Institute dedicated the road formerly known as Press Street, the site of Homer Plessy’s heroic act, to the new Homer Plessy Way. Members of the New Orleans City Council, founders of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation: Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson, Ellis Marsalis, and Ayo Scott were all in attendance for the celebration.
Keith Plessy, a descendant of Homer Plessy stated, “Countless lives of men and women have dedicated their lives to freedom justice, and equality to their country. This day, the name of Homer Adolph Plessy will be immortalized, remembered, and honored,” he said, “by the renaming of these five city blocks. The city of New Orleans sends a message around the world that our heroes will never be forgotten.”
In the coming years, Homer Plessy Way will become the home of Plessy Park.