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James Meredith Sees More Challenges Ahead

Dec. 3, 1962 - James Meredith (pictured), the first Negro to attend the University of Mississippi, believes that his attendance at the university has failed so far in its most important objective — helping other Negroes of his state. “Not one problem has been solved, not one issue has been settled,” he said today. Moreover, he said, the widespread interest in his grades and the possibility that he may flunk out distracts both Negroes and whites from these problems. “One prime reason I came here was to learn,” he said. “Another, and I never made any secret of it, was to help the Negro people. A Negro in Mississippi makes $500 a year. If I can somehow help to raise it to $600 a year, I’ll consider myself a success.” The 29-year-old Air Force veteran lives under difficult conditions. The cell-like room he occupies on campus in Baxter Hall reminds him, he says, of the nine years he spent in the service. U.S. marshals who guard him constantly occupy the outer room of the two-room suite. Military Police mount guard outside the building.

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