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Dr. Natalie Hopkinson is Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University.


She is the author of Go-Go Live (Duke University Press, 2012) and A Mouth is Always Muzzled (The New Press, 2018). These book-length essays exploring the arts, history, place, and social change were recognized by jurors at PEN America, the Hurston-Wright Foundation, Caribbean Studies Association, and the Independent Publishers Association, among others.


Dr. Hopkinson has travelled and researched widely across the U.S., South America, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and West Africa. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, she has published hundreds of journalistic articles as a former staff writer, editor, critic, and columnist at the Washington Post, The Root, Huffington Post, and as a guest contributor to Slate and the New York Times Op-Ed section.

In addition to the arts, her essays have tackled gentrification, gender, history, media, human rights, education, and other subjects. She uses clear language accessible to popular audiences, but blends theory and methods from fields such as critical studies, ethnomusicology, and American studies. 

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She frequently returns to her roots as an arts writer and ethnographer in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hopkinson’s 2007 doctoral dissertation at the University of Maryland was the second academic study ever published on go-go—D.C.’s indigenous music. Since April 2019, as co-founder of the #DontMuteDC Go-Go Music and Culture movement, she has co-produced more than two dozen cultural activations which mobilized thousands of people in the streets and online, marking the strength and resilience of Black people and culture.


Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed her to the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities in February 2020. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.  

Read about Natalie's 2020 here.


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Huffington Post


Archive of Huffington Post columns (2018)


The New York Times


Booker’s Bad History  October 17, 2017

Apple Comes to Washington  May 12, 2017

Farewell to Chocolate June 23, 2012City

Why School Choice Fails Dec 5, 2011