Sunday - August 12th, 2012

MARK ANTHONY NEAL, Duke University Professor, author of New Black Man

“Black Washington, D.C., has a famously rich history and culture. Natalie Hopkinson has an established reputation as one of the most sophisticated commentators on contemporary black culture in the capital city. Go-Go Live is not only a fascinating account of a musical culture, but also a social and cultural history of black Washington in the post–civil rights era.“

GEORGE PELECANOS, novelist, screenwriter, “The Wire,” “Treme”

“Natalie Hopkinson knows the music, the heartbeat, and the people of Washington well, but Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City is much more than a book about D.C.’s indigenous sound. It is a vital, lively, and ultimately inspiring look at the evolution of an American city.”

SPIN Magazine Best 10 Music Books of 2012

Washington Post Critics’ Best Books on Washington, D.C. (January 10, 2013)

The Root, 15 Best Books of 2012.


THE WASHINGTON POST       “Go-Go Live” is thus not just a work of scholarship but an eloquent piece of cultural partisanship, an elegy, a counter-narrative, a love letter. Like Wald’s dozens, go-go comes from the margins — societal, economic, cultural — but in American music, the margins are usually the real center of the action.”

AMSTERDAM NEWS     “Go-Go Live” isn’t just the history of a genre of Black music; it’s the history of Black people in a certain region of America. It’s the history of Black America itself.”

HISTORY NEWS NETWORK      “tackles the subject with a ferocity fitting a musical form that fuses West African call-and-response, hip-hop, Latin congas, reggae and funk into infectious dance hall music.”

BALTIMORE CITY PAPER  “a plaint of ambivalent hopefulness that this post-Chocolate City, Barack Obama-era Washington, D.C., can begin to overcome that separate-and-unequal racial division still at the heart of America.”

LIBRARY JOURNAL   “writes with great, sometimes astonishing, insight, and this is a work that is sorely needed.”

DOMINION OF NEW YORK   “The book is complex and innovative in its attempts to straddle academic and popular audiences.”

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION   “Go-go is simultaneously the “black CNN,” informative and historically aware, and a place to “Beat Ya Feet” in raucous and hard-partying fashion.”

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY       “makes a persuasive case that “go-go serves as a metaphor for the black urban experience in the second half of the twentieth century.” 

CULTURE MOB recognizes the complexities of a changing city and its evolving culture.”

WASHINGTON CITY PAPER “gives voice to recent history, providing context, depth, and nuance to stories that previously may have only entered our consciousness as newspaper briefs spread out over months or years.”

SOUTHERN SPACES “  “Hopkinson uses autobiographical narrative to leaven her historical treatment of black D.C., and includes several extended oral histories that add flavor to Go-Go Live.”

POPULAR MUSIC AND SOCIETY : “Hopkinson is at her best when she is connecting go-go to the city’s shifting historical geographies of race and class.”