(The Root) — Five years ago, The Root launched to deliver news and analysis focused on the issues of black Americans and the greater Diaspora. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t put our conception into context. The creation of our site in January 2008 was in large part because of the success of Barack Obama’s campaign during the presidential primary elections.
Black Twitter didn’t exist then, but black folks were always discussing and parsing issues, and it reached a heightened pitch when the Obama family came into the nation’s periphery. We wanted to collect those compelling black voices into one space so that we might pay homage to a political force that would forever change the trajectory of politics, black culture and the nation.
The 2007-2008 primaries and subsequent general election were an interesting political cycle filled with lots of twists and turns. There were heated exchanges between then-Sen. Barack Obama and his opponent Hillary Clinton. In the end, Obama etched his way onto the general ticket as the Democratic candidate and went head to head with Sen. John McCain, a seasoned politico and Vietnam veteran. The selection of McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, was also a historic one for the nation. 2008 was the year for black America, but it was also the year for women. The Root aspired to be a space where folks could come and engage in those complex conversations as well.
As The Root celebrates our fifth birthday with a refreshing new look, we commemorate the fifth anniversary of Obama’s 2008 election win by rounding up a few photos that capture the magic of the first family throughout the years.
The Obamas Vote
That Tuesday morning, the Obamas cast their votes at an elementary school in Chicago. Barack Obama joked that Michelle took so long to fill out her ballot he wanted to check to see if she had actually voted for him. A cute 10-year old Malia Obama watches her parents from the side.
The First Family’s Entrance at the Victory Rally