Yohuru Williams, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, speaks at the Murphy Institute's MLK Racial Justice Discussion event in Schulze Atrium at the School of Law in Minneapolis on April 16, 2018.

Tommie Experts: Yohuru Williams on Landmark Ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson

Tommie Experts taps into the knowledge of St. Thomas faculty and staff to help us better understand topical events, trends and the world in general.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Yohuru Williams teamed up with the History Channel to produce a series of videos, "Sound Smart," explaining some of the important historical moments in the United States and around the world.

In this entry, Williams discusses the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that established the doctrine of "separate but equal," allowing states to enforce the separation of races. That standard supported separation doctrine across laws for decades, until the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 was "ultimately the death knell for the doctrine of separate but equal established in Plessy v. Ferguson," Williams said.