Wednesday, April 17, 2002

NASA is trying to get more African-Americans into astrophysics and the other space sciences. Unfortunately, they'll have a hard time doing so as long as bright young black students face denigration from their own peers, such as this:
Some top students lifted their faces from difficult physics textbooks only to receive what amounted to a slap from a black hand. One example: Two African American undergraduate students on the Harvard University wrestling team were walking from the gym. The younger one, a kid from the Bronx named Neil, complained that his astrophysics courses weren't leaving him time to sleep. The banter stopped as abruptly as their footfalls. "Blacks in America do not have the luxury of your intellectual talents being spent on astrophysics," declared the elder student, waving his hand in front of Neil's chest.
(Link via Rand Simberg.)