First I love being from Atlanta–the positive people that have come along in my life, the weather, the smell of honeysuckles in the summer, the diversity of food and fun, the history, and hearing a “shawtay” every once in a while.
Now, I was sharing with my friend, who moved here a couple years after the Olympics the great times of historical Freaknik. At an age where I should have been at school on a Thursday, I’d meet my home-girl during lunch or get her out of class with a pass from the front office that I worked in so we could head to the parking lot. One of her boyfriends that probably should have had a court order to stay so many feet away from any schoolyard would pull up to get us. From there, it was usually Wendy’s, Mickey D’s or such before heading to the nearest Marta Station.
Freaknik was about dancing in the streets, observing some of the best step shows around, networking, financially boosting the city, club hopping, supporting black business and events, meeting new people, possibly flirting here and there, and of course the legendary best Freaknik tee-shirt hunt. However, ignorance entered. What would start as a celebration turned into trouble-makers finding a crowded event to disappear into. It turned from getting to know beautiful young ladies in a southern city to violating young females in it. At first, a young educated male might rent a nice car, travel to the A, get fixed up, and go out to club with his boys to hopefully approach a nice young lady. In the end, it was a neanderthal getting high and drunk just to head out, stand in a parking lot, grab a woman in her private areas (maybe even worse), and believe he wouldn’t get caught amongst the numbers of event goers.
There is a disappointment in my city now. At least in a lot of the single people. On the radio a few months back, there was a topic of Atlanta being the “Playa Capitol.” I drove listening to men calling in and agreeing with the title. Atlanta in their eyes was the place their male friends told them to move to. Some of these men married with children, some not. One guy called in and said that his friends and him all meet at one friend’s house to remove their wedding rings and leave them securely on the weekend before going out.
“I heard the rumor/myth when I first moved to the ATL. And 3 years later after watching friends in relationships and being in a few (very few) I’ve come to my own conclusion. There is not a shortage of men in Atlanta. Its’s just way to many women here that let them get away with some of the things they try to get away with.”
For the childish male, it seems wonderful until they hit old age and are looking at children, women, and just people that they could have done better by.
To bring it back to Freaknik, my city has been known as a powerful place with not just black but also female mayors after being a southern city with a lot of racial setbacks. Atlanta is a place where minority growth has overcome many obstacles. However, being born and raised in metro-Atlanta, I see the breakdown of the that same kingdom. I see a place where “trickin” is seen as more positive than education and family structure. Where a lady doesn’t get help with a flat tire as quickly as a guy will pay for a hotel room. A place where Magic City will get more people paying to get in than Hosea’s Feed The Hungry will get volunteers. Besides some neighborhood hangouts and family-owned businesses, there is a huge false hip-hop video ideal that the wrong mentality has moved here to live out.
Sex, money, and drugs are quick fixes to reality but…the reality still exists.
History repeats itself. I see plenty of young people doing things in a town that will still be here when they are dead and gone, like their money, cars, and (unfortunately) misguided children.
Here is a link for Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys as an option for the ladies.
There are some wonderful people in Atlanta a few specs of genuineness in-between but, commercialization has a way of raping and exploiting that part of a city.
“If you live life selfishly you will die alone. If you live life for mankind you will live on through them.” ~Prema LaNay