October 21: Dr. Natalie Hopkinson at Kimball Elementary School
On October 21, renowned author Dr. Natalie Hopkinson visited the third-grade classroom of Carly Palella at Kimball Elementary School (DCPS). After a brief introduction by Palella, Hopkinson played pieces of music from all over the world. From Salsa to reggae; students were asked to identify the different forms of music. With each new rhythm, students raised their hand to identify the sound. When the final rhythm, go-go, was played, students shouted in unison to identify the music unique to their hometown. When the class was asked who created go-go, the students all responded “Chuck Brown!”
Hopkinson explained the journey that brought her to write Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City. Students listened intently as she explained how her classmates at the University of Maryland noticed her enthusiasm when talking about go-go and encouraged her to write about it. She also discussed the topic of research, describing how for her dissertation and book she conducted countless interviews and made first-hand visits to go-go’s. Some of the students commented that they have also done field visits for their study of D.C. monuments. They were pleased to have their research method validated by a published author. Hopkinson continued by explaining why go-go is unique to “Chocolate City” and a brief history of how African-American culture influenced D.C. Here are pictures from the visit.