This week, Chairman and Publisher Earl G. Graves, Sr., Editor-In-Chief Derek T. Dingle and Director of Photography Lonnie Major visited the White House for an historic one-on-one with the Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama. “The most coveted get for a media company or journalist is the Interview of the President of the United States in the Oval Office,” says Dingle. “It is the ultimate seat of power on the planet.”
Dingle, who was granted the first print interview of President Obama after his 2009 inauguration, conducted an exclusive 20-minute interview with the President in the Oval Office on Wednesday, April 11, focusing on minority and small business policies and the economy. When asked what he would say to Black business owners, including attendees of the upcoming Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference to be held in his hometown of Chicago, who question whether the Administration has done enough for Black business, he responded, “I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.”
The Oval Office includes items and objects that inspire President
Obama as he tackles the pressing issues that face our nation and the world. Along with the Presidential Seal, one can find prominent quotes on the carpet, such as one from slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice…”
Close to the President’s desk are photos of the First Family.
Black Enterprise Founder and Publisher Earl Graves and Dingle look on as the President makes a point about the small business lending environment. Graves presented the President with the four Black Enterprise issues featuring him on the cover: October 2004 (as a candidate for the U.S. Senate); January 2008 (when the magazine made the case for why he was the best candidate for the presidency); November 2008; and March 2009.
Exclusive photos taken by Lonnie Major
Dingle describes the President as “gracious when you meet him and focused, thoughtful and direct in his answers.” The interview occurred during the week he was focused on tax reform as he pushed the “Buffet Rule” that seeks
to get the wealthiest Americans to pay taxes at a 30 percent rate.
Look for the feature story from Dingle’s interview with President Obama in an upcoming issue of Black Enterprise magazine.
Don’t miss the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23-26, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL. Search and follow the hashtag #BEEC2012 on Twitter for the latest updates on conference speakers and sessions. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/