Jack Beermann's new book is The Journey to Separate But Equal: Madame Decuir’s Quest for Racial Justice in the Reconstruction Era. (Boston University Photography)
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Swampscott author studies legal history of segregation in the U.S.

SWAMPSCOTT — Jack Beermann’s newest book is 10 years in the making. 

“The Journey to Separate But Equal: Madame Decuir’s Quest for Racial Justice in the Reconstruction Era,” published last month, studies the history of a relatively-unknown Supreme Court case that stopped the state of Louisiana from prohibiting racial segregation in the 1870s. Beermann first learned of the case from a footnote in a 2010 law review article, and was shocked that he had never heard of it before.

“I was skeptical, because I felt like, if the Supreme Court had decided a case like this, I would’ve known about it, because I specialize in that period of civil rights,” said Beermann, a professor at Boston U…

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