When he arrived at Mississippi State in the summer of 1965, Dr. Richard Holmes felt more alone than threatened.
The Starkville, Miss., native had been called the N-word for years. So the term never bothered him the few times he heard it on MSU's campus. He was mostly startled by the isolation that stamped his existence as the university's first and only African-American student.
White students cleared the library when he walked through the doors.
They switched ...