About Go-Go Live
Go-Go Live: The Musical Life & Death of a Chocolate City by Natalie Hopkinson explores the past, present and future of Black Washington, D.C., via its signature sound, go-go. This project began as a series of articles published in the Washington Post’s Style section. It evolved into a PhD dissertation at the University of Maryland-College Park, and is now a book of photos and essays published by Duke University Press.
Go-go is a very local musical form of black popular music influenced by funk, salsa, the blues, reggae, and hip-hop. But through the frame of the author’s Caribbean identity, the book explores the music’s uncanny links to the black experience around the world. It is amazing how American political and economic systems, as well as the local geography and urban history are all mapped on to the music. It looks at the local fashion lines, the dance movements the ever-shifting constellation of record stores and venues, the fading spaces in Washington D.C. as Chocolate City fades to black and the new life the music is finding in the far-flung suburbs. Go-go music is the perfect metaphor for the life and death of Chocolate Cities all over the United States.Read More