Date of Award

5-13-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

African-American Studies

First Advisor

Akinyele Umoja

Second Advisor

Lia Bascomb

Third Advisor

Lakeyta Monique Bonnette-Bailey

Abstract

From the 1980s to 2000, Atlanta’s Freaknik festival was a unique Black spring break celebration that attracted thousands of Black college students and young partygoers to the city for one weekend. In its two-decade existence, this event became a Black cultural phenomenon centering music, fashion, food, and social gathering that remains in the historical memory of an entire generation of Black Americans in the twentieth century. Previous scholars have used Freaknik as a comparative space to make analytical arguments surrounding culture, gender, and politics. However, this intrinsic collective case study will provide an extensive historical account of Freaknik that focuses on Black women’s experiences and will place them in their sociopolitical, cultural, and racial context. Through archival research and oral histories, this case explores the intersectional components in Black women’s experiences at Freaknik and reveal the impact of their convergence on Black women’s lives in Atlanta.

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