On May 4, 1867, Guillaume acted. What happened next is open to some debate. According to the New Orleans Times, at 11:30 a.m. Guillaume hailed a “Whites Only” car number 148 on Love Street, now known as Rampart. When the driver refused to stop,…

No doubt Guillaume had heard of Dr. R. I. Cromwell, who had forcibly been thrown from a non-star car by five or six men who kicked him and tore his clothes. Cromwell noted the inequity of the star system, writing that “every seventh car is a star…

Joseph Guillaume had had enough. The Civil War was over, Reconstruction was in full swing, yet the practice of segregation on the streetcars of New Orleans continued. Every third streetcar—although it was sometimes less often—was supposed to be…