After Dark by Noel Hankin recounts Hankin’s time as one of the founders of The Best of Friends (TBOF) collective, who ran several famous clubs during the late 60s and 70s. Considering the origins of disco music (Black people) and the fact it took place during a lot of living people’s memories, it’s extremely sad to think that for many the default iconic club of this time is Studio 54, or films like Saturday Night Fever made disco enter the mainstream consciousness.
As a fan of disco and wider club culture, After Dark looks to redress the balance as it takes the reader to midtown and uptown New York club such as Leviticus (not to be confused with the Leviiticus in Lee Daniel’s Empire), Lucifer or Othello in the 60s and 70s. It features figures such as Stevie Wonder, Nicky Barnes, Frank Matthews and Don Cornelius who all graced the clubs run by TBOF.
I found the book to be really insightful, and also inspiring as it showed what a collective of young men with young families could achieve. I also liked that Hankin showed a side of the club scene that many would not see and that there was a welcoming feel compared to the white counterparts.
After Dark: The Birth of the Disco Dance Party by Noel Hankin made me want to pull out my parents’ vinyl and dance like those on old Soul Train clips.
I would definitely recommend for anyone interested in music history and popular culture.
***Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.***
For my 2021 reading challenge, this book fulfils the Black Girl Reads Books Too prompt, of a book by a Black male author.
After Dark: The Birth of the Disco Dance Party by Noel Hankin is available from the following retailers, so why don’t you check it out today: