March 24: Ju Ju at E.L.Haynes Public Charter School (High School)
On March 24, William “Ju Ju” House visited students in Julian Hipkins III’s DC History classes at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. The DC History class was joined by students from Jennifer Fox-Thomas’ music classes. Ju Ju began by asking students to gather around a table at the front of the room to view images and documents related to go go from all over the world. Students were able to examine and discuss various pieces of go-go memorabilia that Ju Ju collected over three decades of playing DC indigenous music.
Ju Ju then asked students to come up and play some go-go beats with instruments that he brought. Ju Ju instructed each three-person group on how to play a go-go beat. After the brief tutorial, they began and ended with a loud applause from their classmates. After the demonstration, Ju Ju explained the history of go-go and how he came to love the music. He took the opportunity to ask students their thoughts on how to keep go-go alive. Students had a variety of answers.
- A reunion concert with all of the great go-go groups.
- Larger social media presence in regards to the history of go-go as well as upcoming events.
- Photographer Maybelline McCoy suggested using the hashtag #reclaimgogo when posting information on social media.
When Hipkins mentioned that Ju Ju would be speaking at a whole school assembly at another school the following week, a powerful exchange occurred:
Student: Why didn’t you do that for us?
Hipkins: Ju Ju is here.
Student: I mean for the whole school
Haynes teacher: Why are you asking him? You have the power.
Student: Can I work with you to make it happen? Are you willing to work with us?
Hipkins: I am.
After the visit, the student agreed to help bring a go-go event to the school as a gift from the senior class to cement their legacy at the school.
This classroom visit was funded by #NzingaNewYear donors. Photos by Maybelline McCoy.