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Sat, 09.19.1891

The Comité des Citoyens is Formed

The Comité des Citoyens pamphlet

*The Comité des Citoyens is celebrated on this date in 1891. This committee was an equal rights organization comprised of Blacks, whites, and Creoles.

In 1890, the State of Louisiana passed the Separate Car Act, which required separate accommodations for Black and white people on railroads, including separate railroad cars. At the suggestion of Aristide Mary, a wealthy Creole landowner active in Louisiana's Reconstruction era politics, a group of 18 prominent black, creole of color, and white Creole New Orleans residents formed the Comité des Citoyens to challenge the law.

Many of the Crusader's staff were among the group's members, including the paper's publisher, Martinet, and the writer, Rodolphe Desdunes. Mary aimed to establish a "dignified" organization to mount legal challenges to Louisiana's new segregation policies. It is most well-known for its involvement in Plessy v. Ferguson. The Citizens' Committee was opposed to racial segregation and was responsible for multiple demonstrations in which Blacks rode on the "white" cars of trains. A prominent group member was Caesar Antoine, and Louis A. Martinet, a politician, journalist, and lawyer credited with much of the thinking behind their legal strategy.

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I placed a flower on your grave today. I knew you were not there— but far away A fleecy white cloud floated Blotting out a million miles of mystery and blue. Perhaps in... TO A PAL by A. V. Hall.
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