8 years ago my sister suggested I find a way to publish the amusing emails I sent her about our dog Zoe. Now there is blogging! Zoe tales are about Zoe (3 1/2 lb Chihuahua), Gracie (bigger and the world's friendliest Chihuahua) and other stuff I am thinking about. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Youth not wasted on the young - Updated

I really can't stand people who are so focused and together when they are this young. Roland G. Fryer Jr is a professor of economics at Harvard at 27. As a former Ph.D. candidate I find this mind boggling-ly impressive. To me this is the most remarkable aspect of his story. Not the fact that he overcame a childhood that for many people would have made it difficult to stay in high school to graduate, let alone go to college on scholarship and graduate in 2 1/2 years. And, in what is turning out to be a running Maroon love-fest in this blog, he got his Ph.D. in economics at Chicago - home of a mess of Nobel Prize-winning economists. And, did I mention that he's black?

Much like with blogging, there is concern that voice of women and people of color aren't sufficiently represented in academia. Certainly not in the ranks of the "superstars." The system for rising to the top in both worlds contains some of the same elements. You get recognition for blogging when people link to you. You get recognition as a professor when people cite your work. So that this kid is getting so much attention and respect at such a young age and early stage in his career is remarkable. That he is black is all that more remarkable since being black in the academy is not yet unremarkable.

He is part of an incredible group of black academics that Henry Louis Gates Jr. has gathered together at Harvard. I've had the opportunity to in some way study with a few of the professors in that group and I feel strongly that beyond the "links" these professors have collected, they are truly impressive and would be even without the links. Gates gets it. And Gates gets Fryer so I'm all the more impressed. And, did I mention he's only 27?

UPDATE: The amazing group of African-American scholars at Harvard appears to be disbanding


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