Opinion writer

April Ryan, author of “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” talks with The Post’s Jonathan Capehart during an interview for the “Cape Up” podcast on Jan. 9. (Carol Alderman/The Washington Post)

She is not disguised at all … No one recognizes her … She’s basically unnoticed most times.”

She is first lady Michelle Obama. And in April Ryan‘s new book, “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” she reveals that the wife of President Obama has gone on long walks outside the White House to little or no notice over the past eight years. As startling as that news is (shared with her by Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett), so is the reason Ryan believes this happens: Invisibility.


For more conversations like this, subscribe to “Cape UP” on iTunes or Stitcher.

“The first thing they see when you walk in the room is the color” of one’s skin, Ryan told me in the latest episode of “Cape Up.” She was diving deep on her contention in her book that “when it comes to being Black women, we are invisible no matter what heights we have risen to and achieved.” The conversation on racial invisibility was just one part of a conversation that reflected Ryan’s perspective as an African American woman raising two daughters in Baltimore.

[The things all black people know about how to survive in a white world]

Ryan is also the Washington Bureau chief and White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks. She has covered three presidents and is gearing up to cover her fourth, Donald Trump. Listen to the podcast to find out whether she thinks those opposed to his presidency will maintain their opposition to him and what one question she wants to ask him.

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During her final official speech as first lady, an emotional Michelle Obama urged young people to be empowered and lead 'with hope, never fear.' (Reuters)