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April Ryan’s latest book puts Black women in the spotlight

Photo caption Black Women Will Save The World by April Ryan

In her book, White House correspondent and political analyst April Ryan brings to the forefront many Black women who have made a difference in the lives of Americans and beyond

The book, titled “Black Women Will Save the World,” is written as a type of homage and is described as “highlighting the incredible work of “sheroes” like Vice President Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Fredrika Newton, the widow of Huey P. Newton, Valerie Jarrett, Stacey Abrams, LaTosha Brown, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Nikole Hannah-Jones and many more.

Ryan acknowledges their resilience, and strength and their ability to transform their pain into progress, despite economic, political and social challenges, while also reminding audiences that “it’s not fair to expect Black women to save the world all by themselves.”

She further explains the title: “Black Women Will Save the World” as chronicling, in real time, the heroic efforts of Black women, across industries and professions, to move the needle on questions of justice and fairness. This book is also a candid portrait of leadership—the disappointments, the frustration, and, indeed, the costs of leading America during one of her darkest hours.

And while many think of the fortitude of those Black women who are movers and shakers as having some mystical powers, Ryan looks at this strength as perseverance.

She mentions in the book that her mother was, in every sense of the word, magic. “For Black women reading this, that’s a familiar sentiment. Magic. We are all magic. Juggling it all and helping everyone, including and especially the times when no one notices. Black women: we make the extraordinary ordinary.”

In an NPR interview, Ryan said: This is my love song to America, my love song to Black women, and in particular my mother as well, you know, to show we made it.”

Ryan used the year 2020 as a touchstone for renewed women’s empowerment, given the tragic murder of George Floyd and activism around the Black Lives Matter Movement and the election of Harris.

She interviews powerful women for their input on various subjects, bolstered by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s foreword where he gives praise to the women who helped raise him. “I am who I am today in large part because of incredible Black women,” he said.

Ryan has been covering urban issues from the White House since the Clinton era. She appears on CNN as a political analyst and is the D.C. Bureau Chief for the Grio. Ryan is also the author of the award-winning book, “The Presidency in Black and White.”

And finally, Ryan has sage advice for Black women. She also told NPR: “Be authentic and know that you’re enough. Early on in my career, I used to hear people say, oh, fake-it-till-you-make-it.

“I was never into that fake-it-till-you-make-it stuff because at some point you’re exposed if you’re faking it, right? Know that you are enough. Your existence, your being and what you bring to the table is enough. And build from that.”

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Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader. She is a National Newspaper Publishers Association ‘Entertainment Writing’ award winner, contributor to “Rust Belt Chicago” and the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood: South Side of Chicago.” For info, Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago ( or email: [email protected].

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