After Dark

Birth of the Disco Dance Party

Non-Fiction - Music/Entertainment
309 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2021
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Author Biography

Noel Hankin is a founder of The Best of Friends, Inc., a pioneering business enterprise that promoted discotheques in New York City from 1971-1988. Leviticus, Justine's, and Bogard's were among the first black-owned clubs in midtown Manhattan. Along with Lucifer's in Queens and Brandi's in Brooklyn, these clubs paved the way for "Saturday Night Fever," Studio 54, and the nationwide explosion of disco in the late 1970s.
Noel Hankin has over 35 years of experience managing some of the world's most successful brands. He was Sr. VP Multicultural Relations at Moët Hennessy USA where he helped brands such as Hennessy and Moët & Chandon enjoy above-average usage among multicultural consumers. Hankin has written speeches for several CEOs and other C-suite executives. Two of his speeches were published by Vital Speeches.
Hankin is a founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and served as its Vice-Chair. The Fund has raised $300 million so far and helped prepare over 260,000 students for career success via scholarships and leadership training.
President Clinton appointed Hankin to his Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), where he provided counsel to the President for seven years. Hankin has a BA from Queens College/CUNY, a Marketing Certificate from the Wharton School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate from Medgar Evers College/CUNY.
Hankin was born in Kingston, Jamaica and lives with his wife Gwendolyn in East Hampton, New York.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

After Dark: Birth of the Disco Dance Party by Noel Hankin talks about a significant yet rarely discussed or even written about part of American history: The origins of the disco dance party scene and its contribution to society in many aspects. What makes this piece of work even more relevant is that author Noel Hankin is a living witness in its evolution and has even played a major part in it. It goes back to the beginning of the seventies when a group of friends that included Hankin formed a social club called The Best of Friends (TBOF) and built a network of discotheques, beginning with a dance club called Ginza. Hankin traces back the struggles and triumphs of doing what they love and, with passionate recall, shares stories of the high energy generated by the business that they were not expecting would redefine a nation’s dance scene culture.

As the disco era became part of a culture that defined the seventies, its passion and intensity provided an escape from the dreariness of mundane or monotonous existence. As Hankin attests, many of their guests had good-paying jobs and career possibilities, and TBOF’s ventures had given them a new venue for socializing. Whether you are old enough to have witnessed the seventies or not, its pertinence lies in the meaning of living people’s emotional and social expressions against the established rules of routine. This is relevant when considering that the '70s was a time of idealism and confusion, and when people turned to creative and artistic expressions to counter the prevailing system of the time. With that in mind, you cannot help but give credit to the passion and efforts of TBOF, particularly not just in providing an after-work social venue, but by taking steps to ensure that midtown was safe after dark for anyone who wished to paint the town red. A great reference to a relevant part of American history, After Dark: Birth of the Disco Dance Party will make you look back and perhaps want to experience the feeling of a real disco party.

C. Mal Petioni Woolfolk

Captures the epic era of the 70's and 80's in entertainment and new business opportunities!!! with lots of style!

Zack Vaz

As a”regular” at TBOF events most of my early years helped me maneuver through the entertainment field. By beaming a club dj, record remixer, club promoter, club management, record company executive, to name a few. IAll of the BEST OF FRIENDS are forever my friends. Ohh and I met my wife at one of your events, as did lots of others.
God Bless and continued success!
Zack Vaz