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Maybe because he's just a vapid media figure, someone who has a "successful" career because he's not white or asian and because of the support of another celebrity: Carl Sagan.
His scientific productivity hovers at nil, and the only reason you know his name is because he's black. In 2012 the
number of black Americans that attained doctorates in applied mathematics was TWO (I don't have more recent data).
His intellect and productivity are utterly inferior to countless white and asian scientists. But you'll never know their names because they succeed on their own merit.
Sorry, but I felt I should deny ignorance on the matter.