Will black voters turn out?

For the past four years, black voters have talked among themselves about waning optimism as many have struggled financially, concern about the need to energize African Americans, and a separate feeling that President Obama has not gotten the credit he deserves.

In Petersburg, Va., which sits on the Appomattox River, there also is a steely determination that Obama must be reelected to prove his 2008 victory was not a historic fluke.

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Krissah Thompson began writing for The Washington Post in 2001. She has been a business reporter, covered presidential campaigns and written about civil rights and race. More recently, she has covered the first lady's office, politics and culture.

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