*In 2019, natives of Washington DC, known as “Chocolate City,” found themselves fighting with colonizers over their culture.
DC is the home of Go-Go music and locals have played that music from stores in the community for years. Once gentrification brought more non-black people to the neighborhood they began to complain about the music and tried to silence local stores from playing the music, complaining about the noise.
The neighborhood decided to fight back and gathered together to play the music throughout the streets of DC. This became very popular on social media and the #DontMuteDC movement began.
One of the founders of the movement, Ron Moten, went viral when he addressed a white man about coming into the neighborhood and trying to take over instead of being a part of the community.
Moten along with other DC natives and Go-Go music pioneers will be featured in a TV documentary titled “The Beat Don’t Stop.” This documentary, by TV One, tells the history of Go-Go music and the significance it has in the community.
Our correspondent LMarie spoke with Moten on the importance of the people coming together for the Don’t Mute DC movement.
“ It’s just so wonderful to see the energy the movement is still putting into the music. I’ve learned that if you’re not always the head, and there’s different heads they can’t destroy it,” says Moten.
Not only does this movement represent not silencing a community, it also represents the fight of preventing communities from being taken over because of gentrification. A city or neighborhood being gentrified doesn’t have to be a negative experience.
Producer Tone P shares his thoughts on black people in the community needing to be more involved in not losing their neighborhoods.
“A lot of times I don’t think we hold ourselves responsible for what we don’t do,” says Tone P. As we are seeing now a protest is only part of a movement, we also need to put the black dollar back into our communities. #Don’tMuteDC is about more than protecting the music, it’s about protecting the culture of “Chocolate City.”
Catch “The Beat Don’t Stop” on TV One on Sunday, June 21 at 8/7c.