Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive has launched a very impressive new daily online magazine today called TheRoot.com. The Root blends intelligent, thought-provoking discussion of issues from a variety of black perspectives and a round-up of news from around the world with an interactive genealogical section, creating a unique online destination devoted to the black experience,” as the company describes the site.
Contributors to Include Malcolm Gladwell, Thelma Golden, William Julius Wilson, John McWhorter, Charlayne Hunter Gault, among others.
The Root will continue to grow over the coming year, adding innovative tools and sharing functions to greater promote community.
Here’s more about the site:
The Root aims to be an unprecedented departure from traditional American journalism, raising the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engaging anyone interested in black culture around the world.
Conceived by Donald Graham, Chairman of The Washington Post Company and Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, The Root will feature penetrating, lively commentary on political, social and cultural issues, and will showcase the breadth and depth of viewpoints currently shaping black culture. The site will also feature multimedia including slideshows and videos interviews.
“This is an historic endeavor. The Root is one of the worlds first web-based magazines dedicated to reporting and commenting upon the interests, concerns and achievements of African Americans and people of African descent throughout the world,”said Gates, Editor in Chief of The Root. “Since 1827, black journalists have dreamed of creating a national black newspaper and since W.E.B. Du Bois created The Crisis Magazine in 1910 and John H. Johnson created Ebony in 1945, black people have demonstrated a profound devotion to magazines targeted to their aspirations, dreams and challenges. The Root fulfills both of these goals and through the power of the Internet creates a truly interactive community.”
In addition to Gates, Lynette Clemetson joins The Root as Managing Editor from The New York Times. Previously an award-winning national and foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine, Clemetson has covered race, ethnicity and shifting demographics both in the United States and abroad. Terence Samuel, a top political reporter formerly of U.S. News & World Report and AOL Black Voices, will serve as Deputy Editor of The Root. Associate Editor for the site will be Natalie Hopkinson, former Assignment Editor for The Washington Post’s Outlook section.
“The Root resists the notion that there is–or ever was–such a thing as a monolithic black community. The Web site will be a forum for true conversation, celebrating the rich mix of voices, issues and points of view that bring nuance and complexity to the black experience. And while the site is committed to topics of special interest to blacks, it is a destination for anyone interested in the dynamic link between history and our collective future,” says Clemetson.
The site uniquely offers an array of commentary from Malcolm Gladwell, Thelma Golden, William Julius Wilson, John McWhorter, Charlayne Hunter Gault, among others, fostering spirited debate and celebrating the medley of voices that exists among the national African American and International black populations, including the ongoing conversation about family history.
“Family history through genealogy is a critical piece to African American heritage,” said Gates, an expert on African American genealogy, Executive Producer of ‘African American Lives’ and co-founder of the testing site AfricanDNA.com. “To embrace the future it is essential to understand one’s past. We are giving the black community the resources to restore the memories destroyed after the middle passage.”
The Root hosts an interactive section to trace genealogy and heritage, enabling users to participate in a genealogy test through AfricanDNA.com, co-owned by FamilyTreeDNA. Readers will also have the opportunity to build and map family trees using software developed by Avencia.
Jacob Weisberg, Editor of Slate magazine, and Cliff Sloan, Publisher of Slate, were tapped by Don Graham to help guide the creation of The Root. Weisberg said, “Slate has been delighted to lend a hand in developing The Root. To me, The Root is groundbreaking, and I believe it will change the media landscape for black America.”