Black woman kicked off of Cable Car

Fri, 1863-04-17

On this date in 1863, a Black woman was forcibly removed from a horse-drawn streetcar in San Francisco.

Charlotte L. Brown, the daughter of James E. and Charlotte Brown was the victim. Her father, who ran a livery stable in San Francisco, brought suit on her behalf against the Omnibus Railroad Company. The successful suit resulted in $5,000 in damages awarded as well as the right of blacks to ride the street cars. The Charlotte Brown case was one of a few civil rights cases brought by prominent free blacks in California to protest discrimination on public transportation.

Black Past