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Following the Civil War, feelings were mixed about the freedoms that Lincoln had granted to African American citizens through his Emancipation Proclamation. A group in Louisiana decided to challenge a state law that required companies to have railway cars separated by race. They orchestrated a situation in which a "white-looking" black man would sit in the "white only" part of the train and announce he was "colored." In a landmark decision that supported the racist feelings in some areas of the country following the Civil War, the effort to secure equal rights at this time failed. The book provides insight into the details of the case and also includes questions to consider, primary source documents, and a chronology.