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The Fight For African American Rights

825 words - 4 pages

In Nicholas Lemann’s Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War, Lemann uses Adelbert Ames as the main character. Adelbert Ames is someone that can be viewed in many ways by different people. Ames served as a general in the army, a senator, and finally as the governor of Mississippi. Ames served as governor during the time of Reconstruction. Whites disagreed with Reconstruction and they took it upon themselves to try to end it by killing the blacks. They were against the blacks having the right to vote. Ames tried to do what he could to stop the violence. While some people feel Adelbert Ames was not effective in his role as governor of Mississippi, he actually proved that he was a very hard working and loyal man and he strived for everyone to be equal.
First of all, General Ames decided, while being in the senate, to run for governor of Mississippi to help blacks get their rights back. Ames was very “passionate about bringing rights and education to the Negroes” (37). He believed everyone, whether white or black, should be treated equally. He believed everyone should be allowed to vote in an election and they should have the right to an education. Unfortunately, whites did not believe blacks should be allowed to vote in an election or receive an education. In fact, whites did everything they possibly could to insure blacks did not receive an education or get to vote. Ames decided that if he could become governor of Mississippi, he could try to put a stop to the way whites treated blacks and enforce the laws that had been set. Ames set forth and ran for governor of Mississippi to put his plan into action.
Furthermore, Ames showed his support of blacks through the speeches he made before the governor election took place. During one of his many speeches, Ames spoke of his support towards the “Ku Klux laws or Force Acts, providing for federal enforcement of Negro civil and voting rights in the South” (48). This showed that Ames disapproved of white brutality and mistreatment of blacks. Ames was strong in what he believed in and was not afraid to speak his beliefs. While whites disliked Ames, his beliefs, and what he stood for, “Ames saw his decision to run for governor of Mississippi as a simple matter of answering a call to protect Negro rights” (55). He realized...

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