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The Black Experience in America
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Twenty-seven-year-old Harvard economist Roland Fryer grew up poor and black, in a family that was falling apart. His mother abandoned him. His father drank heavily and beat him. Fryer sold drugs and carried a gun. Then, at age 15, after he got pulled over by the police and then let go, he decided he wanted something different.

He finished an economics degree in two and a half years at the University of Texas at Arlington. As a graduate student at Penn State University, he began using economics to study race. Top economists took notice.

Now teaching at Harvard, Fryer is asking what many white economists are afraid to ask — why are so many African-Americans not succeeding? Fryer is ready to consider genetics, black culture, or anything else that might help him explain the achievement gap.

Hear a conversation with Roland Fryer about his search for answers on the black experience in America.

Guests:

Roland Fryer, junior fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows and assistant professor of economics at Harvard University. He was subject of the recent New York Times Magazine article “Toward a Unified Theory of Black America.”;

James Heckman, 2000 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

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