Today, the Washington Post Co. (which used to employ me) planted a flag in the afrosphere by launching TheRoot.com.
Conceived by Post chairman Don Graham and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (pictured), and with the “sponsorship” of HBO, TheRoot.com strives to be a high-toned webmagazine for black folks.
Prof. Gates sees it as part of a 180-year continuum... from Freedom’s Journal to The Crisis to Ebony magazine to now.
The Root’s editorial team comes from elite mainstream news organizations – Lynette Clemetson (New York Times), Terence Samuel (U.S. News & World Report) and Natalie Hopkinson (Washington Post).
Given all those credentials, I hope The Root won’t be too very “respectable”... eating fried chicken with a knife and fork and shit.
I hope there’ll be room in that enterprise for some of the funkdafied free speaking and reckless attitudinizing that characterizes the best of the black blogosphere. (I’m talking about bloggers like AngryBlackBitch, The Assimilated Negro, Field Negro and Ernest Hardy.)
Either way, I’ll be checking out The Root regularly.
UPDATE (01/29/08): If you’d like to read more about yesterday’s launch of TheRoot.com, here are a couple of links...
Click here for the Washington Post’s news story.
The New York Times article is here.