Johnny L. DuPree, current mayor of Hattiesburg, Miss., and its first African American mayor, is on a historic journey and if the political tide is in his favor, DuPree will become the first African American governor of Mississippi.

Already DuPree, a Democrat, has made history by being the first African American nominated by either party for the governorship of a state that sits at the heart of the dark days of Jim Crow. He defeated Clarksdale attorney and developer Bill Luckett in a Democratic primary runoff to face current Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in the Nov. 8 general election.

But the question remains whether Mississippi can redeem itself from its sordid past by electing DuPree to become the first Black to be named chief executive officer of the state. DuPree said it is more than a redemption question. It is about who can do the best job for the citizens of Mississippi.