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The Wildest Party Never Told’ documentary shows HBCU map, but HBCUs are missing

The HBCU map featured in ‘Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told’ is woefully incomplete, as it only features 8 southern HBCUs.

‘Freaknick: The Wildest Party Never Told’ premiered on Thursday on Hulu, sparking numerous conversations as anticipated. The documentary recounts the tale of “Freaknik,” the Atlanta picnic that evolved into a spring break festival embraced by HBCU students in the 80s and 90s. Hulu stated that the documentary was produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Freaknik 94.

However, an unintended conversation is occurring amongst HBCU alumni concerning a brief moment shown towards the beginning of the documentary. The movie spoke about HBCUs as a cultural epicenter, which ultimately leads to the story of how Freaknik itself was created.

“The HBCU all around the country was a vibrant site of black life and black culture for over a century,” Morehouse alumnus and media personality Dr. Marc Lamont Hill said during the segment in which the map was shown.

Hill was correct in his assessment of the cultural impact of HBCUs, but the map that scrolled across the screen was incomplete. The map featured:

  • Morehouse
  • Clark Atlanta
  • Spelman
  • Florida A&M
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Fisk
  • Grambling State
  • Texas Southern

Missing on the map is any of the HBCUs in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Mississippi. While also not spotlighting HBCUs in South Carolina and the rest of the HBCUs in North Carolina, the graphic oddly places North Carolina A&T in South Carolina. This, itself, is questionable largely because Alabama has the most HBCUs in America with 14 and North Carolina trails them slightly with 10.

Among the other HBCUs they didn’t feature in Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, the omission of Georgia HBCUs is glaring. The map doesn’t showcase Morris Brown, which is also located in Atlanta. Along with Paine College, Interdenominational Theological Center, and Morehouse School of Medicine not being on the map, the documentary also omits Georgia’s only three public HBCUs: Fort Valley State, Albany State, and Savannah State.

It’s hard to truly quantify the impact of Freaknik as a cultural institution in the South and not mention all the HBCUs on the Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States.

HBCU Alumni React

It’s safe to say that HBCU alumni weren’t happy at the exclusion of several HBCUs from the map. Several HBCU alumni and supporters weighed in on Kristy Tillman’s Twitter/X post, as she pointed out the glaring omissions.

Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told is available now on Hulu.

Randall Barnes_headshot

About the Author

Randall Barnes is a Fall 2019 Graduate of Fort Valley State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Fort Valley, Georgia, where he majored in Media Studies. He is the Founder of HBCU Pulse, a multimedia outlet with the mission to tell the authentic stories of HBCU Life via traditional, digital and social media outlets to amplify our voice. He is also the host of HBCU Pulse Radio, which can be heard on SiriusXM Channel 142 HBCU Fridays at 5 p.m. EST and wherever you get your podcasts.

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