Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-4422-3841-1 • Hardback • February 2015 • $24.95 • (£18.99)
April Ryan, a 28-year journalism veteran, has been the White House correspondent for 17 years for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). She is also the Washington Bureau Chief. Along with daily responsibilities at the White House, Ryan hosts the daily feature, “The White House Report,” which is broadcast to AURN’s nearly 300 affiliated stations nationwide. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
From her Unique vantage point as the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), Ryan has had the immense pleasure of witnessing history in the making through three presidential administrations. As an African American woman in a field dominated by white males, however, Ryan has brought a perspective to her coverage that both stems from her personal background and reflects the wider concerns of her urban radio audience. From her days as a rookie reporter in the Clinton White House to her tenure as a veteran journalist during the Obama administration, Ryan analyzes each president's time in office in terms of his commitment to and success in addressing issues that bridge the country's racial divide. Transcripts of press conference Q&As and exclusive interviews provide crucial insight into how each president fared on issues of domestic initiatives, administration diversity, and acknowledgment of racial inequities. Forthright and formidable, open and appreciative, Ryan delivers a no-holds-barred evaluation of the country's chief executives on matters of race and equality.
[This book] gives readers a compelling behind-the-scenes look at race relations from the epicenter of American power and policy making—the White House—April Ryan’s beat since 1997. Ryan tells us what it was like for a pioneering African American female reporter to become a respected member of the White House Press Corps, one of the greatest old boy networks in the nation’s capital. . . .With humor, grace, and determination, Ryan shares the highs and lows of a sometimes lonely battle, to keep questions of race and the lives of her inner-city listeners on the national stage.
— African American Literature Book Club
April Ryan has taken the mystery out of the White House. She tells the story in black and white. This is a rare story, but more importantly a story about America. This is a very valuable contribution to the American history zeitgeist, and a story all Americans need to experience.
— Ernest Green, "Little Rock Nine"
Despite the bland menu press officers often serve reporters who cover the White House, April Ryan has always been someone who insists on spice. Her questions, sassy probing, and good humor force a predominantly white culture in that most exclusive of places to confront uneasy questions of race, equality, and discrimination. She made the scales fall from my eyes, and her work—reflected in this marvelous volume—will one day change the heart of a president she covers.
— Mike McCurry, White House Press Secretary, 1995–98
April Ryan’s long service in the White House press corps has given her an intimate understanding of the value of political leverage, for presidents and the American public alike… The Presidency in Black and White is an important contribution toward achieving that political leverage—that place for us to stand from which we can move our nation toward the society it is meant to become. For that, April Ryan deserves our gratitude and support.
— Hon. Elijah Cummings, United States House of Representatives
Most people just talk about “being in the room.” April Ryan not only is in the room, but also grabs your attention in a fascinating, personal, and yes, “insider’s” look at The Presidency in Black and White. April brings us inside the Oval Office as she recounts with humor and poignancy her observations and encounters with three American presidents as they have tackled the often slippery and dangerous slopes of race and racism in America.
— Michael Steele, first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee (2009–2011), MSNBC political analyst
A revealing and important look at the presidency—and the press—by a veteran journalist who’s been on the inside for two decades. With often surprising details that defy the conventional views of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama presidencies, April Ryan takes the reader to state dinners, aboard Air Force One, and into press conferences to explore the role of race in the White House and press corps.
— Steve Thomma, Chief White House Correspondent for McClatchy