Freak if You Want To
Freak if You Want To
Freaknik was an annual spring break meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, primarily of students from historically black colleges and universities. Begun in 1983 as a small picnic near the Atlanta University Center, it was initially sponsored by the DC Metro Club and was typically held during the third weekend in April to coincide with the schools of the Atlanta University Center's Reading Day. The event increased in size and popularity in the 1990s with dancing, drinking, parties, a basketball tournament, rap sessions, a film festival and a job fair.
Freaknik was conceived in March 1983 in a dorm room on the second-floor of Thurman Hall at Morehouse College when Pat Stanback, a member of the DC Metro club, was challenged by a member of the California club about who would throw the biggest party. Pat brought the idea to the President of the DC Metro club and they voted on the name and sponsored the first Freaknik in April, 1983 at John White Park in Atlanta. The first few years alternated between John White Park and Adams Park with them announcing the location at the last minute in hopes of evading police.
Many students from the AUC, Atlanta University Center, attended and partied to music provided by Flash Attack Inc.. DJ Bam Bam Barney and DJ Flash did the first 2 annual gatherings. As it grew, the festival attracted upwards of 250,000 revelers to the city. However, as the freaknik grew in attendance Atlantans' reception of the festival was mixed. Many residents had attended and enjoyed Freaknik since it was started. Otherwise, Freaknik went largely unnoticed by most of the city.
The problems with Freaknik began in 1993, when the number of people coming to Atlanta for the event suddenly doubled to more than 80,000.
Many residents believe the City of Atlanta was caught off guard in 1993 by the increased number of people who came to the city for Freaknik. In some areas, the massive increase in cars on the road caused traffic to come to a halt, and the revelers got out of their cars and danced in the streets. This in turn caused panic in some areas where people could not get home from their jobs, and they were trapped in areas where many revelers started harassing and yelling obscenities at residents.
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