Judge Charles Pickering swore in newly elected Boys State leaders during Thursday's session in Jackson. He also touched on racial unity.
The Fifth U.S. Court of Appeals judge pointed out that, while 300 of the 350 delegates are white, black student Michael Sipp of Pascagoula High School was elected the group's governor.
State Attorney General Jim Hood also spoke to the delegates.
Boys State, which ends Saturday, is sponsored by the American Legion.
Participants learn about state and national government by campaigning, passing legislation and debating for their imaginary cities and political parties.