Perez vs. Sharp

End to Miscegenation Laws in California

In 1948, Andrea Perez, a Mexican-American woman, and Sylvester Davis, an African-American man, filed a lawsuit against then Los Angeles County Clerk W.G. Sharp (Perez vs. Sharp, October 1, 1948). Earlier, they had sought a marriage license from the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office but were denied such because Perez was racially classified as white and Davis as negro. At the time, under California state law, no marriage license could be issued between a "white" person and a "negro" person. The case went all the way to the California Supreme Court and the couple were able to successfully overturn California’s miscegenation laws.