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DJ Vicki Powell on queer nightlife, a changing Atlanta, and the art of throwing a party
"I got into DJing because I was an introvert—really shy. But I loved nightlife, and I loved going to Backstreet. I just couldn’t quite find my groove. But once I figured out that I could throw a party with a DJ booth around me, I was like, 'Oh, it’s on now.'"
In A Night at the Sweet Gum Head, journalist Martin Padgett tells Atlanta’s overlooked queer history during the disco decade
In A Night at the Sweet Gum Head, released this month by W.W. Norton, journalist Martin Padgett sutures this context into the accounts of two main subjects: Bill Smith, who helped lead the Georgia Gay Liberation Front, worked as a city commissioner, and published the South’s leading gay newspaper, the Barb; and John Greenwell, who rose to drag stardom performing as Rachel Wells at the Sweet Gum Head nightclub.
Atlanta needs its gay bars now more than ever
While the AIDS crisis brought the gay community and its bars together, COVID is driving them apart.