April D. Ryan is veteran journalist who has been a White House correspondent for the past 18 years. She also serves as the Washington bureau chief for the American Urban Radio Networks.
Besides covering the Obama administration, April’s responsibilities include hosting “The White House Report,” a syndicated show airing on about 300 radio stations around the country. The Morgan State grad still lives in her native Baltimore which is where she is raising two daughters, aged 7 and 12.
Here, she talks about her new memoir, “The Presidency in Black and White.”
Kam Williams: Hi April, thanks for the interview.
April: Thank you, Kam.
KW: I believe we have a mutual friend in Jennifer Dargan.
AR: Yes! I love her. She’s such a sweet person.
KW: I agree. She’s one of my favorite people. I have a lot of questions for you that were submitted to me by readers. Sangeetha Subramanian says: Hello Ms. Ryan. Congratulations on your book. I wish it lots of success and look forward to reading it. Advocacy seems like a constant tango between knowing which battles to choose and when. How do you find the balance between knowing when to pull back and when to go full steam ahead?
AR: Wow! That’s a good question. [Laughs] You’re right, Sangeetha, it’s kind of a dance we do that’s not scripted or choreographed. We just have to kinda feel our way through. For the most part, you ask questions about current events of the day or about what’s happening in the community. If you think you can get more of an answer, you follow up. But you do have to know when to pull back, otherwise you could make a fatal mistake, because that room is unforgiving. It’s just a dance that you have to learn how to do.
KW: What interested you in writing a memoir?
AR: A friend told me that I could not sit in that room and not write one. I basically started journaling from day one. I tried to work out a book deal during the Clinton years, but it was too soon. During the Bush years we did get a bite, but the editor got fired. Then, when President Obama was elected, my agent and I looked at each other, and said, “This is it!” And it was time. [Chuckles]