Best of 2008: Natalie Hopkinson's Picks

As we approach our first anniversary, The Root family looks back on our most memorable essays.


HILLARY'S SCARLETT O'HARA ACT: It has been a rollercoaster year, and this feels a bit like picking your favorite baby, but I have three picks for The Root.

I have always been a fan of Hillary Clinton. But in the heat of the Democratic primary campaign, when the white entitlement was flying everywhere, I was really surprised to find myself agreeing with all the conservatives who've been calling Clinton a snake for all these years. I was angry. It was personal, and I never really had the words to express my extreme hatred for Hillary's behavior on the campaign trail. Melissa clearly and brilliantly put into historical context what bugged me about Hillary and some of her followers, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferarro, et al in this campaign. It's funny, now that Obama's been elected and her white privilege argument didn't fly, I'm all good with Hillary--nothing but high hopes for her as secretary of state.

AMERICA'S CHITLIN' ERA: This an essay I have referenced, e-mailed and quoted from ever since it hit the site.

At the time we published this piece, Obama's election was far from certain, so it made me a little bit nervous to be naming the movement so soon. Of course, now it looks especially prescient and the piece will be for the years to come. This is our moment, black folks! Nobody knows how to stretch a dollar, improvise, and most of all, survive, as we do.

WE HOOD! WE VOTIN' -- AND THROWIN' IT UP!: Gary Dauphin has written a whole catalogue of sophisticated cultural analysis for The Root all year. But this essay about an Obama tribute video by SaRa Creative Partners may be my favorite.

First of all, the subject was just a cool, infectious video that for weeks had the whole office singing, "We Hood! We Voting! We Throwin' it Uuuuuuuup!" But by bringing in obscure literary allusions, tying in the technological and cultural zeitgeist that is Obama and linking a whole list of cool unheard-of Obama videos on the Web, Gary's essay actually matched the energy of the song.

Natalie Hopkinson is associate editor of The Root.