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April Ryan

Journalist and political analyst April Ryan was born on September 5, 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland to Robert C. Ryan, Sr. and Vivian Ryan. She majored in broadcast journalism at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated with her B.S. degree in 1989. There, she worked at the university’s radio station, WEAA-FM, as a disc jockey.

After graduating, Ryan worked as a freelance writer for a number of television stations across the eastern United States. She returned to the Baltimore area in 1991, after landing a job as radio news announcer at V-103 (now WQSR). Ryan was soon promoted to news director, and also began freelancing for the American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). In 1997, Ryan was hired as an AURN position in the White House press corps and has reported on four United States presidential administrations. Ryan conducted one-on-one interviews with President William Jefferson Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, First Lady Laura Bush, Vice President Al Gore, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and Secretary of State John Kerry. In 2011, Ryan was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondence Association. Ryan’s first book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, was published in 2015 and won the NAACP Image Award. Her second book, At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, was published the following year. In 2017, Ryan became a political analyst with CNN. In 2018, Ryan published her third book, Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.

Ryan was a member of the National Press Club and has appeared on MSNBC, NBC, and News One. In 2004, Ryan was named an American Swiss Foundation Young Leader. In 2011, Politico named Ryan as one of the top 50 people in Washington D.C. to watch. Ryan won the Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2017. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Claflin University.

Ryan has two children, Ryan and Grace.

April Ryan was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on October 31, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.197

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/31/2017

Last Name

Ryan

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

April

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

RYA01

Favorite Season

Spring and Fall

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Aspire to Inspire

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/1/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Low Country: Shrimp and Grits; Good Catfish

Short Description

Journalist and political analyst April Ryan (1967-) was a member of the White House press corps, a reporter for the American Urban Radio Networks, a CNN guest correspondent, and the author of several books on race and politics in America.

Favorite Color

Green or Red

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson was born on October 8, 1945, in Chicago, Illinois. He is the son of Earl Hutchinson, a postal worker, and Nina Brown Hutchinson. Hutchinson received his B.S. degree in psychology from California State College, Los Angeles; his M.A. degree in humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and his Ph.D. in sociology from Pacific Western University.

Hutchinson began his career in radio, working at KPFK Radio in Pacifica, California. In 1982, Hutchinson began a subscription newsletter, Ofari's Bi-Monthly, which discussed political and social issues. He published this newsletter for twelve years. Hutchinson would go on to write for several newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Black World, Ebony, Essence, Newsday, Nation, Harper's, and Emerge. Hutchinson is the author of many books including, The Myth of Black Capitalism (1970); Black Fatherhood I and II (1992 & 1994); Betrayed: A History of Presidential Failure to Protect Black Lives (1996); The Crisis in Black and Black (1998); The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation Between African Americans and Hispanics (2007); and The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House (2008). Since 2005, Hutchinson has been a writer and a blogger for The Huffington Post news website and a frequent guest on numerous talk shows. His op-ed columns appear in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and many other major newspapers. He is a frequent commentator for the American Urban Broadcast Network and Ed Gordon’s News and Notes on NPR. He is a featured columnist for BlackNews.com, BlackAmericaWeb.com, and Alternet.org. Hutchinson is also associate editor of New America Media, the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2,000 ethnic news organizations.

As director of the National Alliance for Positive Action, Hutchinson has voiced his desire to have the word "nigger" eliminated from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. As a part of the Coalition Against Media Exploitation, Hutchinson convinced President Clinton to pardon African American sailors charged in the “Port Chicago Mutiny.” Hutchinson is the recipient of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in 1995 and 1997.

Accession Number

A2008.116

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/20/2008

Last Name

Hutchinson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ofari

Organizations
Schools

St. Dorothy School

Mount Carmel High School

Susan Miller Dorsey High School

Los Angeles City College

California State University, Los Angeles

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Earl

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HUT03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

Honor Your Past.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/8/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

Author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson (1945 - ) wrote op-ed columns that appeared in the L.A. Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Christian Science Monitor. Hutchinson was an associate editor of New America Media, the country's first and largest national collaboration of 2,000 ethnic news organizations; wrote for the Huffington Post; and was a frequent talk show guest.

Employment

Los Angeles Free Press

State Compensation Insurance Fund

KPFK Radio

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Earl Ofari Hutchinson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about his maternal family's origins in Iowa

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his mother's experience of passing in the workplace

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about his father's postal service career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his family's cross country road trips, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his family's cross country road trips, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about segregation in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his childhood neighborhoods in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers Holy Cross School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his educational experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his childhood extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls moving from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers Leimert Park in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his father's political activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his choir class at Susan Miller Dorsey High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls playing football

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his political activities at Los Angeles City College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his early career ambition

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers the Watts Riots

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about the black consciousness movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his activities at California State College at Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls the black studies movement at California State College at Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls the Black Panther and US Organization shootout in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls the government's response to black-on-black violence

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers meeting renowned civil rights figures

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls enrolling at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his work for the Los Angeles Free Press

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his work for KPFK Radio in Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls the development of his first published works

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers John Henrik Clarke's support

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about the Pacifica Radio Network

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his employment search upon leaving KPFK Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his work for the State Insurance Compensation Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his return to writing

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson remembers his boss at the State Compensation Insurance Fund

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes 'Black Fatherhood: The Guide to Male Parenting'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Earl Ofrai Hutchinson talks about high profile cases involving African American men

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his book, 'Blacks and Reds: Race and Class in Conflict, 1919-1990'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his book, 'Betrayed'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about his teaching opportunities

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson describes his recent book projects

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his challenges in the publishing industry

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Earl Ofari Hutchinson talks about his recent work as a political analyst

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls the Black Panther and US Organization shootout in Los Angeles, California
Earl Ofari Hutchinson recalls his work for KPFK Radio in Los Angeles
Transcript
But I got to tell you something, let me go back to something I said way in the beginning when you asked that question about characteristics from--or who influences you, your father, your mother or where did you go? Remember one of the things I said about my father [Earl Hutchinson], he was very cautious, do you remember when I said that? Well something internally, a little bell and whistle always was there, danger (laughter), be careful. It's nice to have a philosophy and it's nice to be influenced, and it's nice to have a heart, but sometimes it can be a little dangerous. So my wife [Barbara Bramwell Hutchinson] always says, "That Hutchinson thing, boy I have to tell you, you guys are so cautious" (laughter). Put the fear of God in you about not making any too, too many steps out the box. You know always playing it close to the vest. But any case, so I saw all of the events unfold in L.A. [Los Angeles, California], you know the shootouts, all the stuff that went on at UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California] and over here on Central Avenue. I saw all of that, I witnessed it.$$Okay so the, the shootout, you, now this is a disputed--$$Between US [The Organization Us] (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) it's been written about--yeah, US Organization--$$--and the Panthers [Black Panther Party].$$Yeah Bunchy Carter I think was killed.$$The week before that happened at UCLA, I was a panel with John Huggins, and even the week before that at one of the black student meetings at Cal State LA [California State College at Los Angeles; California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California]. The other guy, Bunchy Carter came, had big entourage you know that, they kind of like to do that you know, everything was theater. You know they got that from the old Nation of Islam you know that, that militaristic thing, the intimidating thing. So they would come and they would do their thing, and I remember he gave a little talk and he was a poet too, and read a couple of poems. Had just seen him the week before then I was on a panel with John, oh no, excuse me his wife, Ericka Huggins [Ericka Jenkins Huggins], and John was in the audience. And then one week later, this thing at UCLA, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins gunned down, and I said, wow. Now, that was another turning point in my life. There's a, well I just saw it the, the other day this movie, 'Righteous Kill' with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. And there's a scene in there where Pacino, he's a serial cop killer, Pacino is killing people, taking the law, the whole Bronson [Charles Bronson] thing, you know, 'Death Wish.' So in the end he's making this confession when they catch him, and he said something that reminded me of what I'm gonna say. He said, "I started doing this because I lost my faith." When he saw his, De Niro, a role cop plant some things on somebody, planted a gun on him you know, New York PD [New York City Police Department], then get rid of this guy. And so Pacino who had been playing it close to the vest said, "I lost my faith," he'd always played it for thirty years as a straight cop. And then he saw this crooked cop, then he just went bananas, just start killing. When that happened at UCLA, I lost my faith, by that I mean this: all my youthful idealism, all of my illusions about the black struggle being so simon-pure and this and that. And was just gonna remake America and, and the oppression of us and that, I mean things I deeply believed in. When that happened, that threw me off, blacks killing blacks, radical blacks killing--those that I knew on both sides, how could this happen? Those that I believed in, went to the meetings, you know listened to them talk about black consciousness, black this, black unity, black this. Believe in that; I eat it up, believe in all of that. So now at my, you know twenty-two, twenty-three, I'm trying to, I'm having cognitive dissonance. Wait a minute, this is not the pl- you know you're used to white police gunning down bla- I mean you understand that, that's supposed to be the formula, you know? But this is different, you got radical blacks, US Organization, the triggermen killing other--how did this happen? So all of my illusions and delusions about--things all of a sudden, pardon the pun, didn't become so black and white anymore, now we got grey areas. Now for the first time I saw that blacks can victimize other blacks; wasn't always whites victimizing blacks. I began to see things aren't always what they seem in this world, so I began realizing and watching a little bit closer. And, and rethinking some things. Not that you're going to go and become Clarence Thomas (laughter) you know. But, but it, it just sent up a cautionary note to look and access and analyze a little bit differently, much more broader, than just seeing everything in just narrow, black and white, racial terms.$I had one other experience, I began to do some, branch out into radio at that point at KPFK [KPFK Radio, North Hollywood, California] in the Pacifica Network [Pacifica Radio Network]. So I was doing some weekend programming for them, and I was doing a jazz show, a jazz and a sports show, but especially the jazz show. And a lot of the top in rapid succession we had, in a three-month period, I had Barry White, I had [HistoryMaker] Isaac Hayes, I had [HistoryMaker] Herbie Hancock, almost got Miles [Miles Davis]. Being the flake that he is and you know about Miles, he, we had him slated for an interview, and of course he cancelled at the last minute. And then one fella that came through one day, I never heard of him before, (laughter) and he came in and he was on tour the first time. He got in the studio and you know I would usually back and forth you know kind of very light, just kind of you know I always kept it conversational. This is one of the rare, one of the few times when I did interviews, I never got, I got one question in. And so for the next thirty minutes, I'm sitting here listening to this guy go on and on and on, I got one question in in thirty minutes. And I'm fascinated I, who is this, what is this lunatic, what is this guy--I'm looking at my watch. Get this guy out of here. I'll give you a hint, he's going on talking about Rastafarians and, and you know Haile Selassie, what is he talking about? I thought this guy was coming in to talk about his new CD, not CD, they didn't have CDs back then, his album. You know who it was?$$It was Bob Marley.$$It's Bob Marley (laughter) and--first time I'd ever seen you know dreadlocks, I'm, I'm looking what, what is this? He didn't talk one second about music, I mean it was all Haile Selassie, Rastafar- rasta this, rasta that, rasta. I said wow, and I have to tell you, ever since then, of course you know now Bob Marley when they have the Bob Marley day and this. After that when I, and years afterwards, when it got out, it was like he touched the Holy Grail; "you were actually in the same room with Bob Marley?" When they do the huge thing here on Bob Marley day, I mean thousands come out; I get a call from several radio stations. "Ah, can you tell us about Bob Marley, what was he like?" I mean you actually touched Jesus, (laughter) you touched him, you walked with him, and it's so funny. Because I'm thinking to myself at the time, who is this clown, who is this nut, get rid of him, never know.$$So that so how, how long did you show last on Pacifica Radio?$$Actually I was in and out with Pacifica for over twenty-five years, begin in the early '70s [1970s] I had that show then I left the Free Press [Los Angeles Free Press] and actually went to work KPFK as their news and public affairs producer. Stayed there for ten years from 1972, late '72 [1972] to 1980, and so then I left there and actually that started, at that point, my other life.