Unfortunately annually, the number of African Americans obtaining doctorates in the sciences is very low. There are only 15-to-30 African-American Ph.D.s in math granted each year and nearly 50 percent of all doctorates awarded to African Americans are in the field of education with another new history PhDs in both categories increased 6.1 percent in history – typically African American studies. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, African Americans accounted for 951 (1.9 percent) and 903 (1.8 percent) of all doctorates awarded in science and engineering.
Although a welcomed first, for the states, the sciences and African Americans, the state still has a long way to travel. Mississippi, a state that took Mississippi until 1996 to ratify the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery, still enforces vagrancy policies that dates back to 1865 when the legislature passed the so-called Black Codes and they are enforced frequently. It is also still intolerant. During this year’s NCAA basketball tournament, students and fans from the University of Southern Mississippi chanted “Where’s your green card?” at Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez. And just two months ago, a poll was released noting that only 40 percent of Mississippi Republicans think interracial marriage should be legal (with 14 percent undecided).