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Don’t Mute D.C.:
Go-Go & Community Heritage

Since 1995, go-go music has emanated from the speakers outside Central Communications/Metro PCS. This telecommunications store owned by Donald Campbell is located in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, one of the fastest gentrifying areas in the country. Although he was in compliance with city noise ordinances, Campbell was forced to turn his music down after a neighbor from a new luxury condo complained to T-Mobile, with whom the store has a sales contract. This precipitated the #DontMuteDC uprising, which morphed into an urgent public conversation about gentrification, culture, and racial inequality, and that continues to be carried forward through diverse efforts and parties.

Between June 2019 and January 2020, fourteen interviews with figures involved in the earliest mobilization of this movement were recorded by a team from Howard University’s Department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies; the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage; and GoGoRadio LIVE.

Audio and video recordings as well as written transcripts of these recordings are being processed and will be publicly accessible through the Center’s Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections. A link to this collection is forthcoming.


  • Wala Blegay, attorney, DC Nurses Association
  • Michelle Blackwell, artist; formerly with NE Groovers, What? Band
  • Julien Broomfield, English major, class of 2019, Howard University
  • Donald Campbell, owner, Central Communications/Metro PCS
  • Kymone Freeman, co-founder/producer, We Act Radio
  • Anwan “Big G” Glover, artist, Backyard Band
  • Natalie Hopkinson, assistant professor, Howard University; author, Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City
  • Justin Johnson, aka Yaddiya, artist, producer, Moechella, Long Live Go-Go
  • Tony Lewis Jr., community organizer and activist, D.C. Natives Day
  • Ronald Moten, community organizer and activist, Check It Enterprises
  • Christopher Proctor, aka Lil Chris, artist, TOB Band and Show
  • Keith Robinson, aka Sauce, artist, Backyard Band
  • Tone P, artist, music producer, Universal Music Publishing
  • Sudi West, director, Shaw Community Center

Archival Video

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