In the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, the United States Supreme Court held that racially separate but equal public facilities were compatible with the U.S. Constitution. Keith Medley, author of We as Freeman: Plessy v. Ferguson—The Fight Against Legal Segregation, and Keith Plessy, descendent of plaintiff Homer Plessy, are two of the founders of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation, education and ongoing outreach of the civil rights movement.
Medley and Plessy will be on Geneva’s campus on September 13 and 14. They will speak at John White Chapel in Old Main for a 7:30 p.m. lecture on Thursday, September 13, and a 10:10 a.m. lecture on Friday, September 14.
Medley holds a B.A. in sociology and psychology and is a two-time recipient of publication grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. We as Freemen is expanded from an article that he wrote for Smithsonian magazine. As a freelance writer, Medley has contributed to many publications including Historic Preservation, The New Orleans Tribune, American Legacy, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Preservation in Print, The Times-Picayune and Southern Exposure.
The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation states that Plessy’s role as president constitutes “reaching out to civil rights leaders, activists and community members to let them know about the foundation and to seek their input and guidance in developing programs.” Plessy is also an artist, and has painted more than 100 portraits of civil rights leaders on the interieror walls of Valena C. Jones Elementary School in New Orleans.
Medley and Plessy are coming to the college as part of the Geneva Visiting Artist and Lecture Series (GVALS). Their appearances are free and open to the public.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).