Black residents in Washington, D.C., are putting their foot down when it comes to the increase of gentrification and subsequent disrespect from the city’s new white residents.
It all began when a Metro PCS store in the historically Black Shaw neighborhood of the city began receiving complaints for playing go-go music.
A resident in a nearby luxury condo reportedly filed a complaint with T-Mobile, Metro PCS’ parent company, and demanded the store stop playing the iconic D.C. music, a tradition that began nearly 25 years ago, reported the Washington Post.
Go-go music, which is described as a subgenre of funk that uses heavy percussion, is synonymous with D.C. culture.
Even after the store tried to turn the volume down or play softer iterations of the funk music genre, complaints still flooded T-Mobile.
Although an online petition to keep the store playing go-go-music was almost at its goal of 10,000 signatures, the store caved and the stereos were unplugged for good.
This prompted local residents to create the hashtag #DontMuteDC, which quickly went viral.
D.C. Council Member Brianne K. Nadeau, who represents Shaw, wrote a letter to T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs and delivered a history lesson on the creation of go-go and its relationship to D.C.
By April 10, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the company will allow the go-go to play again, reported the DCist.
“I’ve looked into this issue myself and the music should NOT stop in D.C.!” Legere tweeted.
“@TMobile and @MetroByTMobile are proud to be part of the Shaw community – the music will go on and our dealer will work with the neighbors to compromise volume.”
After the music was turned back on, demonstrators in D.C. planned the Save Chocolate City Protest, which took place May 7 at the historic northwest Washington intersection of 14th and U streets Tuesday night and reportedly had more than 3,000 people in attendance.
Although Moechella began over go-go music, the protest also addressed larger concerns of gentrification erasing D.C.’s Black culture.
Tensions between the city’s Black residents and gentrifiers recently flared when a white man suggested Howard University should move somewhere else if students have an issue with The Yard, an open campus area surrounded by academic buildings, being used as a dog park.
Moechella may have started as a protest, but the energy of the evening has some people suggesting it become a new city-wide festival.
(Photo: Michael A. McCoy for The Washington Post via Getty Images)