"Words were power, and reading—reading closely and carefully—had kept us from losing our power." ~ 9%
The memoir opens with a prologue sent in Harlem, 1989. Even though it was midnight, the lights were on and the door unlocked to Dapper Dan's Boutique. It was open "all day every damn day for nine straight years." Many people chose to shop and get styled by thee Dapper Dan. This night was no different except for it being a premonition to what was to happen a week later.
Rewind in time to the young Daniel, one of seven children. He tells a captivating coming-of-age story and does not mince words. It is evident how raw the retelling of his life is. He does not paint a pretty picture either. Being poor, his mother's alcoholism, his own addiction to drugs, rolling dice and "gang" activity is laid bare for readers' judgment.
"Our glass ceilings were a lot lower." ~ 28%
Harlem is a main character too. The capital of deferred dreams. Dapper Dan is about Daniel as much as it is about the city of Harlem in the midst of its Renaissance. Its gritty existence. Its swinging jazz and bebop music. Its glamour at night. Its addictions like drugs, alcohol and gambling. Its streets full of hustlers, go-getters and sharply dressed men such as Tenorman Dan—the original Dapper Dan.
The journey of Daniel Day to Dapper Dan is more than interesting. But I couldn't help but to side-eye how he "customized" brand clothing and balked at raids. So while I don't agree with the foundation on which he handled business, I recommend this memoir to anyone who enjoys a good ass coming-of-age story, likes fashion and has a hustler spirit.
Happy Early Pub Day, Daniel R. Day. Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem will be available Tuesday, July 9.
Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.
Title: Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem
Author: Daniel R. Day
Published: July 2019
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤