In honor of that brief yet time-honored tradition known as Freaknik, April is officially O.S.A.M. Freakin’ “A” Month. What would April be without a really good ‘nic and ‘nik (pronounced neek) and an even better freak (or 2 or 3) in Atlanta? Daytona Beach eternally has “Where The Boys Are” wailed by Connie Francis; we got “This Is How We Do It!” by “A”Transplant Montell Jordan.
A quasi-militant friend banned me from using the word picnic eons ago. I’m sure we’ve all gotten the chain emails regarding its supposed etymology. Waaaaayyyyy back in the day in The A, lynch mobs would pic(k) a N(asir Jones word) to strang up, and then bring a ten piece and a gingham sheet for the fam to sit on and watch this freakout. That is now why we Educated Black Folk (EBF) in The A have cookouts. Has nothing to do with that 8 million dollar grill at ya bwoy’s house up in GuilforFar-rest subdivision or the tin drum perpetually parked at the I-20 Snapfinger exit on which folk will cook out in the middle of “A” Snow Jam. But Freaknik started as a ‘nic back in the day in The A when Milifriend was still collecting La Tigre shirts, not revolutionary trivia. Back then, he ‘nik and ‘nic-eded his “A” off.
Freaknik itself isn’t actually an Atlanta thing. It was started in the 80’s by some Atlanta University Center (AUC) EBF’s from the Washington, D.C. Metro area as their last little school year blowout before finals and farewells. Now, let’s all think about this. Picture a Sasha Obama type from Spelman College going to a cookout with her boyfriend and sorors. Some hibachis, a boombox, B&J wine coolers (yuk!), a couple of nice cars and bermuda shorts were all that was in the offing. A hundred people at best might show up. That WAS the first Freaknik.
I remember being in my dorm (elsewhere) and getting a purply mimeographed flyer announcing the ‘8tee-nunna-yo-business event at John A. White Park, located deep in the heart of the intown SWATS. I didn’t go because Continue Reading…