Thursday, May 15, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
At least a little:
I read this in the Economist and found it inspiring enough to post it here:
WHEN Roland Fryer was about 15, a friend asked him what he would be doing when he was 30. He said he would probably be dead. It was a reasonable prediction. At the time, he was hanging out with a gang and selling drugs on the side. Young black men in that line of work seldom live long. But Mr Fryer survived. At 30, he won tenure as an economics professor at Harvard. That was four months ago.
Mr Fryer's parents split up when he was very young. His father was a maths teacher who went off the rails: young Roland once had to borrow money to bail him out of jail. His great-aunt and great-uncle ran a crack business: young Roland would watch them cook cocaine powder into rocks of crack in a frying pan in the kitchen. Several of his relatives went to prison. But Mr Fryer backed away from a life of crime and won a sports scholarship to the University of Texas. He found he enjoyed studying, and was rather good at it. By the time he was 25, the president of Harvard was hectoring him to join the faculty.
Mr Fryer now applies his supple mind to the touchy, tangled issue of racial inequality. Why are African-Americans so much less prosperous than whites? Why do so many black children flounder in school? Why do so many young black men languish behind bars? Why are stories like Mr Fryer's considered so surprising? ......
More here: http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11326407