"In these racially turbulent times, April Ryan’s At Mama's Knee is essential reading. Drawing from her experience as a White House reporter and keen observations of black motherhood in the 21st century, April offers a poignant look at the racial challenges our nation still faces. Mothers are on the front lines of racial revolution. At Mama's Knee teaches us, above all, that mothers in America carry a heavy burden. Their lessons on race and intolerance shape not just the lives of their children, but our communities and nation as a whole." (Montel Williams, Former Naval Intelligence Officer and Television Personality)
“In her latest tome, At Mama’s Knee, April Ryan brings a needed and necessary conversation on race to the forefront. That she chooses to tell these precious stories on race through the voice of a mother is worthy of perking our ears to listen. Mothers are the backbone of our society. They set the stage for how we will address the world. And in today’s racially charged climate, there are far too many mothers crying. It’s time that we lean into the wisdom emanating through these poignant expressions of joy and pain.” (T. D. Jakes, senior pastor, The Potter's House of Dallas, host the "T.D. Jakes" show)
"Ryan's emotionally-rich exploration of the influences race, identity and family have on our life experiences reminds us just how powerful an imprint mothers make on us all." (Vanessa De Luca, Editor-in-Chief, Essence Magazine)
"From her humble beginnings in inner city Baltimore to the heights of serving as a White House correspondent, April Ryan has seen it all. From this unique perspective, she shares her life experience as a black daughter and now as a black mother in today's racially complex world." (Bobby Scott, U.S. House of Representatives)
“April Ryan has written a truly amazing book. At Mama's Knee is powerful and personal; insightful and moving; loving and gracious. I learned so much. Anyone who reads At Mama's Knee will emerge smarter and stronger." (Wolf Blitzer, CNN Anchor, The Situation Room)
“With passion and precision, April Ryan examines race, gender, and family at the dawn of a post-Obama, and an anything but post-racial America.... Incisive, intelligent and interesting page after page.” (Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP)
"As a single mother of two young girls, native of Baltimore and veteran White House correspondent, April Ryan (The Presidency in Black and White) has spent much of her adulthood juggling the complex issues of race and race relations in both her personal and professional lives. In her second book, At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, she draws on that experience. . . to present a new and multifaceted interpretation of the important role that mothers play in both understanding and defining race relations in the United States today.
Ryan uses her journalistic background to great effect in At Mama's Knee, most notably through extensive conversations with others. Interviews with prominent politicians, such as Hillary Clinton and Valerie Jarrett, combine with the stories of mothers who have been thrust into the news cycle, such as Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner) and Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin), to fully flesh out Ryan's ideas of race and motherhood. . . At its heart, Ryan's work is an important reminder of the place of mothers in the ongoing conversation about race and racial tensions in U.S. "We must teach our children," she urges, "whether with words or actions, about race in America." The words in At Mama's Knee are an important part of that teaching." (Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm Shelf Awareness)