CAPTION: (L-R) Charles View, Tone P, Wanda Henderson, Sam P.K. Collins, and Senghor Baye at Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library on the afternoon of Sunday, April 14. (Courtesy Photo)

In the earlier part of April, the go-go community successfully challenged an attack on a historic establishment in the Shaw area as part of what’s since been called the #DontMuteDC movement. Artists, producers, and fans coalesced against external, but newly rooted, forces eager to cut off the homegrown Black Washingtonian musical sound that has blared from jumbo speakers outside the MetroPCS store on 7th Street and Florida Avenue for nearly a quarter century.

After attempts to sue the MetroPCS Store, gentrifiers living in nearby condos successfully pressured the T-Mobile corporate office to clamp down on this franchise. However, T-Mobile reversed that decision less than three days after the #DontMuteDC movement compelled locally elected officials to stand up on behalf of the go-go community. On Wednesday, April 10, Donald Campbell, owner of the MetroPCS on 7th and Florida, and others celebrated a relatively quick victory.

However, the fight is far from over, due mostly to Black Washingtonians’ collective lack of ownership. A 90-minute panel discussion at Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library on Sunday, April 14 brought together award-winning producer Tone P, Shaw-area business owner Wanda Henderson, and local realtor Charles View for a public dialogue about how to create a communal economic infrastructure that would allow D.C.-area Black Africans be become more economically self-determined.

The Banneker City Local Initiating Committee of the Pan-African Federalist Movement (PAFM) hosted this discussion as part of an effort to politically unite people of African descent within less than a generation. Creating an economic infrastructure counts among eight goals compiled by the Banneker City Local Initiating Committee under which Black Africans in D.C. can unite. By no means is PAFM a new organization; rather it’s an opportunity for people to align their individual works toward greater goals.

This event follows a Kwanzaa gathering at We Act Radio in Anacostia that featured Malcolmite, veteran journalist and activist, and PAFM member A. Peter Bailey, fresh back from his trip to Accra, Ghana for the 60th anniversary of the All-African People’s Conference. It also precedes what’s anticipated to be a solution-oriented town hall meeting that brings afflicted Black African people in a space to utilize solutions to their most pressing problems. Please be on the lookout for more information.

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