The Root
Type of site
Online magazine
Available inEnglish
OwnerG/O Media
Created byHenry Louis Gates Jr.
Donald E. Graham
EditorVanessa De Luca
LaunchedJanuary 28, 2008; 16 years ago (2008-01-28)

The Root is an African American-oriented online magazine. It was launched on January 28, 2008, by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Donald E. Graham.


The Root was owned by Graham Holdings Company through its online subsidiary, The Slate Group.[1][2] In 2015, Graham Holdings sold The Root to Univision Communications.[3] The site was subsequently re-launched under the Kinja platform used by other Gizmodo Media Group (formerly Gawker Media) websites.[4] GMG was later succeeded by G/O Media as owner of The Root.

In July 2017, the blog Very Smart Brothas, co-founded by Damon Young and Panama Jackson, became a vertical of The Root.[5]

Danielle Belton was editor-in-chief at The Root between 2017 and 2021, when she was appointed editor of HuffPost.[6][7] On April 14, 2021, it was announced that Vanessa De Luca had been appointed editor-in-chief.[8]

Since April 2021 The Root has seen substantial staff turnover with 15 out of the 16 full-time staffers resigning following internal tensions, with former staff member Michael Harriot saying that, "as a staff, we came to the conclusion that, basically, The Root is over."[9]

The Root 100

The Root 100 is the magazine's annual "list of the 100 most important black influencers between the ages of 25 and 45."[10] This list has been published since 2011. Readers of The Root are allowed to nominate those who they feel are deserving of being on this list. The list has had a wide variety of people from celebrities such as Donald Glover, writers like Roxane Gay, and athletes. Other influential people in the black community who are not as well known, such as activists, are encouraged to be added to the list as well.[11]


  1. ^ Ahrens, Frank (January 28, 2008). "Post Launches Site With African American Focus". The Washington Post. p. D01. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  2. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (January 28, 2008). "Washington Post Starts an Online Magazine for Blacks". The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Bond, Shannon (May 21, 2015). "Univision buys African-American news site The Root". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Belton, Danielle C. (January 12, 2017). "Please Allow Us to Re-introduce Ourselves". The Root. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  5. ^ "Gizmodo Media Group Announces Partnership With Very Smart Brothas". MSN. July 7, 2017.
  6. ^ "Danielle Belton". LinkedIn.
  7. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 21, 2021). "BuzzFeed Appoints New HuffPost Editor in Chief, Danielle Belton of The Root". Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Vanessa De Luca Joins The Root as Editor-in-Chief". April 14, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "What Happened at The Root?". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2022-01-29. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  10. ^ "The Root 100: A Who's Who Of Black America". WAMU Tell Me More. NPR. October 26, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Root 100: Tell Us Who Should Be on Our Annual List of Influential African Americans". The Root. Retrieved May 1, 2018.