Supreme Court


W.E.B. Du Bois


June 1, 1914

It is possible for the Supreme Court within the next few months to go far toward settling the race problem in the United States. We confess we have little hope that the Court as now constituted will rise to this great opportunity; yet there is a possibility. Cases now face the Court involving the “grandfather” clause of the southern disfranchising constitutions; the “Jim-Crow” car law; peonage on southern plantations; the right of a colored man to defend his home; and discrimination in cemeteries. In two of these cases the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has rendered aid, and in all of them we are, of course, intensely interested. What a forward step for America if the Court should decide that the “grandfather” clause was unconstitutional; that at least, equal accommodations under all circumstances should be given citizens on all railroads paying the same fare; that the custom of selling a criminal to a capitalist to be worked at the capitalist’s pleasure is slavery; and that injustice cannot plead race and color as an excuse!


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1914. “Supreme Court.” The Crisis 9 (2): 77.