Race is Back. . .At Least in Publishing


. . .if not in politics (he says facetiously).
The Washington Post has just launched a new website, The Root, which will attempt to provide a portal for all things cultural and political related to the African-American community. Here is a video intro.
From the Washington Post‘s announcement:

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 world’s 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.

Should be interesting to watch how this develops.

— Steve Clemons


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