Many people in Black culture have heard about the infamous “Black spring break” festival known as Freaknik; a good few out there even have some personal accounts from attending!
What started out in Atlanta, Georgia as an annual gathering of HBCU students that felt ostracized by the predominately white crowds that took over Cancun, Daytona Beach and even Miami, quickly became a weekend-long street party of sexual debauchery that put Hedonism II in Jamaica to shame.
Hulu will soon explore the history of Freaknik, from its rise in the 1980s to its cease-and-desist ending in 1999, with a documentary aptly titled Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told.
Even without a trailer or set release date, the Internet has already jumped at the chance to give their take on what’s expected to be one revelatory viewing experience.
Produced in part by Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, who tweeted out the doc’s announcement last week (seen above), Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told will also see Jermaine Dupri play a part in production as well. The choices seem fitting given the link that both artists had in cultivating the ATL party scene during the early to mid ’90s. Geraldine L. Porras will serve as showrunner and exec. producer alongside P. Frank Williams, in addition to Mass Appeal execs Peter Bittenbender and Melissa Cooper, Eric Tomosunas for Swirl Films, Terry Ross, Alex Avant, Nikki Byles and Jay Allen.
According to the original report by Variety, the doc will focus primarily on “the rise and fall of a small Atlanta HBCU picnic that exploded into an influential street party and spotlighted ATL as a major cultural stage.” Sounds great on paper, but many of the conversations popping up on social media are hoping that it doesn’t gloss over the mass amount of sexual assaults that were reported, witnessed and even captured by partygoers.
Let’s focus on some of those reports for a second: According to a 1998 article by the Tampa Bay Times, several women were said to have been chased by men as they grabbed for their buttocks. One woman is described as “flailing her arms to fight off the men,” and another had to fight off men that tried to lift up her dress; she was simply trying to pose for a photo.
“She had her underwear around her knees and her dress was up over her head,” Freaknik committee chairman George Hawthorne shockingly admitted at the time of a girl he rescued during the airing of Freaknik Tuesday on MTV, continuing by adding, “If it had not been for me intervening she would have potentially been raped in broad daylight.”
By 1999, local authorities had all but turned Freaknik into a police convention. In a 1999 story published by The Baltimore Sun, then-ATLPolice Chief Beverly Harvard describing it as having “hardly any women” in attendance, going on to add, “Yesterday we drove around and we saw a lot of young men between the ages of 16 and maybe in their middle 20s and they were actually looking for the women. You could see it on their faces that they weren’t having much fun.”
Could the newly-instated presence of police have destroyed the original energy of Freaknik, or was it the barbaric behavior of the men themselves that ruined what started out as a good thing? Hopefully the Hulu documentary gives us more insight into that question when it arrives in the near future.
Take a look below at what some people are saying on social media about the Freaknik Hulu doc and why addressing the reports of sexual assault matters:
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‘Freaknik’ Hulu Doc Opens Up New Dialogue On Festival’s History Of Sexual Assault
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1. It’s also supposed to document the fall of Freaknik. Which included a lot of sexual assault. I hope your OGs won’t be on there either. Here are some firsthand accounts:
2. A whole video full of sexual assault and misconduct 😂 The Freak Nik was a wild time
3. I don’t know how I feel about the Freaknik documentary. a) I personally don’t want anybody to be inspired to recreate it. b) I have a feeling there’s so much we don’t know about, and not in a funny haha way, but in a sexual assault kinda way.
4. FreakNik 1994 had 25 reported r*pes , 500 arrests and over 60 reports of assault…. Y’all keep saying bring it back and I’m horrified 😩
5. That Freaknik doc is going to be like that Woodstock 2000 doc in that it’ll start off funny and quickly get dark once it ventures into sexual assault
6. Y’all don’t read. The Freaknik documentary is literally about the rise and fall of the event. They are for sure going to touch on the sexual assault because that’s what caused it to end.
7. Grown men saying “it was called Freakniq, what did they expect”….they expected men to understand what CONSENT is. Dirty ass*s.
8. Who cares if your mom was backing it up at 18 or 21. I’m talking about peoples fathers literally assaulting women in the middle of the street and it being filmed.
9. I feel like Freaknik was nothing but sexual assault based off some pictures I’ve seen.. Idc how many of yall think yall mamas & aunties actually enjoyed some of that bs.
10. A lot of the freaknik tales have been weird all around and I still believe we’ll never handle sexual assault in our culture the way we need to… With that being said, considering who the producers are don’t get your hopes up on anyone being exposed in any of the ways