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Respect Her Crank!: Frontwomen of Go-Go
Go-go music has been the artistic cornerstone of D.C. for decades—and it’s an act of resistance, in addition to the demonstrations taking place all over the globe. Go-go is historically Black, locally celebrated, and centers on the empowerment of Black lives in the District and their contributions to D.C.’s homegrown culture. After events like Moechella, the Hirshhorn Museum’s ARTLAB is taking that experience to a higher level—and making it clear that underscoring the fundamental position women play in the world of go-go is equally, if not more, important than knowing the difference between a bounce beat and riding the slow pocket. As a result, the Respect Her Crank! virtual series is specifically focusing on the underrecognized Black women who have made go-go what it is today. The Aug. 14 session will highlight the frontwomen and organizers who lead go-go bands, and they’ll share their experiences on the scene. The program begins at 6 p.m. on Aug. 14 on Zoom. Registration is available at hirshhorn.si.edu. Free. —Mikala Williams
Read Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Vietnamese American writer Ocean Vuong stunned the literary world last year with his fiction debut On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, a semi-autofictional account of a closeted son’s relationship with his immigrant mother. Years before his success as a novelist, Vuong was regarded as a poetic wunderkind; he published his first poetry collection while still a student at Brooklyn College. When inducting him into their 2019 class of “genius” fellows, the MacArthur Foundation called Vuong “a vital new literary voice demonstrating mastery of multiple poetic registers.” Local independent bookseller Lost City Books has chosen Vuong’s 2016 work Night Sky with Exit Wounds as the August read for their monthly LGBTQIA Book Club. (Lost City Books also offers monthly book clubs themed around new releases, science fiction, and works in translation.) The virtual club will host a guided discussion of Vuong’s exploration of the political and intimate elements of war, trauma, love, and American identity. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 on Zoom. Registration is available at eventbrite.com. $5–$19.50. —Mercedes Hesselroth