Stacey Abrams will overcome the burden of Southern history if she wins the Georgia governor's race on Tuesday.
Abrams' quest to become the nation's first black woman governor against Brian Kemp's reactionary campaign has resounded with historical echoes.
Scholars of the South - such as Vince Dooley, who shamefully appeared at Donald Trump's fraudulent rally for Kemp this weekend - know the themes of progress and regression that course through W.J. Cash's "The Mind of the South," Henry Grady's "New South" proclamation and C. Vann Woodward's "The Burden of Southern History."
Kemp represents the region's legacy of white male supremacy and suppression of minorities, crudely asserted in his TV ads and preposterous attacks on Abrams.
Refusing to give up his control of elections as Georgia's secretary of state, Kemp has resorted to the systematic intimidation of black voters reminiscent of Jim Crow days.
While Kemp follows the legacy of racist politics espoused by Georgia's Gene Talmadge and South Carolina's Pitchfork Ben Tillman, Abrams represents the the region's progressive tradition.
Both strands of Southern populism have battled for political control since the end of the Civil War. As Birmingham imploded with violent white opposition to the civil rights movement, Atlanta enhanced its national and international standing as "the city too busy to hate."
Kemp wants to return Georgia to its segregationist, racist past. Abrams wants to set Georgia's future as a place where people of different races and sexual orientations can feel free to pursue their dreams.