Noel Hankin Recalls the Birth of Black Discos

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The cover of Noel Hankin's book “After Dark: Birth of the Disco Dance Party.”

On Saturday, August 7, Eastville Community Historical Society (ECHS) headquartered at the Heritage House, 139 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor, celebrates its 40 year anniversary with a first-hand account of the birth of the disco movement in the early 1970s followed by a dance party.

From 1 to 2 p.m., guests are invited to meet Noel Hankin, author of newly released book, “After Dark: Birth of the Disco Dance Party,” who will sign copies of his book. At 3 p.m., nationally syndicated columnist, radio personality and author Harriette Cole will interview Hankin. At 4:15 p.m., there will be a Hustle demonstration, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes and brush up on your dance moves. At 4:30 p.m. a pop dance party begins with disco music spinning by DJ Infmatick, and throwback cocktails and lite bites.

Hankin is a founder of The Best of Friends, Inc. (TBOF), a pioneering business enterprise that promoted discotheques in New York City starting in 1971, igniting the most important social and cultural happening of the 1970s — the disco boom.

Three of their clubs, 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, the clubs attracted thousands of diverse patrons each week and paved the way for “Saturday Night Fever,” Studio 54, and the nationwide explosion of disco in the late 1970s. “After Dark” tells the true story of Hankin and his college buddies who monetized their love of music and dancing by building discotheques that transformed midtown Manhattan into a party zone and created a much-needed escape.

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