History Is Made As Go-Go Becomes The Official Music Of D.C.


The #DontMuteDC movement has come full circle in one of the most historic moments for the city.

Culture House came alive with community members, activists, go-go bands and go-go music all pulsing throughout it on Wednesday to witness history being made.

D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser signed off on legislation making go-go the official music of D.C.

The legislation, which was introduced by councilmember Kenyan McDuffie in June of 2019, will require a program that will help to preserve and archive go-go music.

Both Mayor Bowser, councilmember McDuffie, Ronald Moten, one of the creators of the #DontMuteDC movement, and the go-go community were all in attendance.

Backyard Band lead singer and Anwan Glover addressed the filled room on the importance of the day.

"Our music is finally going to be in the books," he said. "It feels good to finally be recognized."

"We working super hard to keep doing what we doing. And making these records and showing everybody in the world that we are go-go and our city." 

Mayor Bowser then took the stage saying "When I say Go-Go, you say 'is D.C.," compelling the crowd to a call and response.

"Today we're going to let the world know that go-go is D.C.," she said. "Go-go is our native language. We say we're native washingtonians because we're proud of it."

She thanked council members for pushing legislation to the forefront and gave reverance to the late Marion Barry for setting the tone with creating the Office of African American Affairs and solidifying the notion that "we have to do everything in our power to preserve our culture."

"When you come to D.C. you will know the law of the land that go-go is the official music," she said.

She emphasized the importance of creating a legacy of go-go for generations to come before introducing Councilmember McDuffie to the stage.

"It has been hard not to smile today," McDuffie began.

"I know a lot of you all out here understand what it means to be D.C. born and bred," he said. "When they tried to shut the music down from Donald Campbell at the corner of 7th and Florida Ave. I was familiar with that corner. The mayor was familiar with that corner."

McDuffie explained how he grew up listening to go-go and that the music holds a special place in the hearts of native Washingtonians.

"It is more than music and genre," he said, elaborating on how the music provided helped community members take care of families and stay out of the streets.

And of course he gave a shout out to Chuck Brown and his legacy as the godfather of go-go.

Before the mayor ceremonially signed the legislation a thank you was given to the #DontMuteDC movement for calling attention to the cause.