P. Frank Williams (Courtesy photo)

Film and television producer P. Frank Williams is the director and one of the executive producers of the documentary, “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told,” which is currently streaming on Hulu.

Williams began his media career as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times newspaper after he graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism. During his tenure with The Times, Williams remembers two stories really sticking out for him, the death of Tupac Shakur and the murder trial of Snoop Dogg,

After the Los Angeles Times, Williams began writing for the hip hop and entertainment magazine The Source.

Some of his stories that splashed across the covers of Source Magazine included the death of Ruthless Records and NWA record producer/rapper Eazy-E, Dr. Dre’s exit from Death Row Records, and many other high-profile stories of the mid 1990s.

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During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Williams says he also produced The Source Hip Hop Awards, which launched his career into television.

“Without being at The Source, I wouldn’t have been able to produce ‘American Gangster,’ ‘Unsung,’ or any of these kinds of different shows,” said Williams.

Williams’ assortment of credits consists of the film “Entanglement,” and the docuseries “Hip Hop Homicides,” “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil,” “Profiled: The Black Man,” “Copwatch America,” the previously mentioned “American Gangsters,” and “Unsung,” just to name a few.

Williams says “Unsung” was his first project of note, and he calls it a cousin to his current project “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told.”

Freaknik was a yearly 1990s college spring-break party in Atlanta, Georgia attended widely by African Americans.

Williams remembers going to Freaknik only once, and that time was with his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.

“Back then, I was a young college student from California in the early nineties, and we didn’t know what we were going to see… and we were like, ‘Wow! Look at all these beautiful Black people.’ It was a beautiful situation because it was basically our Woodstock,” said Williams.”

He continued, “It was the summer of soul, Black joy, and Black love was celebrated. There were a lot of Beautiful women in the mix, so I think that was one of the key reasons we were there.”

True to its then reputation as one of the wildest Black events of the year, Williams says there were women raising their shirts up, some individuals were walking around with reptiles, and others were having sex in public places.

“Some of that I put in the film, [but] there’s been some talk about whether I sanitized the Freaknik [documentary],” said Williams. “People were expecting this sort of ratchetness, and it ended up being this nuanced, smart, thoughtful kind of thing.”

After Williams and his co-executive producers Jermaine Dupri and Luther Campbell put out a public request for archival material from Freaknik, Williams says footage began coming in from all over the world.

“Some of it was on VHS tapes, beta tapes, hi-8 tapes from camcorder tapes from the nineties… We were lucky to get a lot of footage, because there are lot of people with these tapes in their – like Shannon Sharpe – in their basement, that they haven’t been handing over because they’re a little leery about what’s on it,” said Williams.

“As much as I saw some odd stuff when we reviewed the footage,” he added, “we still had to be careful.”

Before creating the documentary, Williams says he was surprised to learn that former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell wanted to legitimize Freaknik by renaming it and adding a job fair to the event.

“He was in a tough situation because he had to satisfy the young African American students [coming to Freaknik] in a really Black city. He also had to satisfy the white business community, who weren’t too happy because of the traffic and how it looked for the city, especially with the Olympics coming [in 1996].”

Williams believes Freaknik ended when it became less of an escape for Black students during spring break, and more of a den for some unsavory characters.

Freaknik celebrated its fortieth anniversary last year, and Williams says his documentary was created to celebrate it. “Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told” is currently streaming on Hulu.