Darius Foster says he wants to challenge racial and political expectations. "With me, unfortunately, everything is black Republican. Not Darius did this, but the black Republican did that." Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Sen. Mary Landrieu greets candidates Rep. Bill Cassidy (left) and Rob Maness after Tuesday's debate. Most observers don't see how Landrieu can pull enough support to avoid a runoff in the state's open primary. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption

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Fashion designer Natalie Chanin stands in front of in-progress garments at the Alabama Chanin Factory. Chanin and Billy Reid, internationally acclaimed designers, have teamed up to test the concept of organic, sustainable cotton farming and garment-making. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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A sign directs voters at a polling site in Atlanta. "Georgia is changing dramatically," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter says. "There's no doubt that Georgia is next in line as a national battleground state." David Goldman/AP hide caption

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Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards is launching a return to politics by running for Congress. His campaign comes 50 years after he first served as a state senator, and three years after he was released from federal prison, where he was serving time on corruption charges. Edwards — nicknamed the "Silver Fox" €”— says public life is his calling. "It's in my blood," he tells NPR. Travis Spradling/SP hide caption

itoggle caption Travis Spradling/SP

Neonta Williams (left) shares family letters dating back to 1901 with preservationist Kimberly Peach during the Smithsonian's Save our African American Treasures program at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Peach advises her to use archive-quality polyester sleeves to protect the fragile papers, rather than store them in a zip-lock bag. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Fannie Lou Hamer, a leader of the Freedom Democratic party, speaks before the credentials committee of the Democratic national convention in Atlantic City, N.J., on Aug. 22, 1964. AP hide caption

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Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group, launched a grass-roots effort to make the Deep South's culture more accepting of gays and lesbians. Brad Clark discusses the group's work in Mississippi. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rogelio V. Solis/AP