We noticed on Facebook there were some comments criticizing the Post for pulling together a gallery on prominent African Americans who died in 2011.

View Photo Gallery: A look back at the well-known and accomplished African Americans who died in the past year.

We asked Robert Pierre, the editor of The Root DC, a key part of The Washington Post, to respond and here is what he had to say:

This is actually a regular part of our daily coverage that we have been expanding in recent years. The Washington Post Co not only owns The Root, a daily national online magazine that provides news and commentary from a variety of black perspectives but, this past summer, the Post launched The Root DC, a channel on washingtonpost.com that provides the same type of coverage with a stronger focus on issues of concern to African Americans in the Washington region.

They are a large part of our past, current and future audience and, if anything, we want to make sure we are focusing even more on issues and topics that matter to them. We are not doing this at the cost of providing our myriad audiences what they want from the Post. This gallery is an extension of what we do every day at www.therootdc.com. I would be happy to hear from readers on this or other related issues at pierrer@washpost.com.