Freaknik: Where are the Atlanta Street Party Founders Now?

If there’s one thing nobody can deny, it’s that the legacy of Freaknik (originally Freaknic) is sadly far from what its founders originally intended when they established it back in 1982. After all, as carefully explored in Hulu’s ‘Freaknik: The Wildest Party Never Told,’ it was developed by Atlanta University’s DC Metro Club in Spelman College as a simple annual spring break festival. It was thus even named by blending the title of Chic’s famous song “Le Freak” and the word picnic, with everyone being unaware the first half of this tag would literally take over by the late 1990s.

Sharon Toomer is a Maryland-based Entrepreneur

Like all her co-founders, although Sharon was incredibly proud of how Freaknik expanded from a gathering at a local park to a city-wide street festival within years, the ensuing debauchery hurt. That’s especially because it tainted their actual motives behind it — not just a party to challenge all end-of-calender-year parties but also a celebration of Black culture in every manner. However, by the time it actually reached this stage, she had long graduated from Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia, with a Bachelor’s in English Literature and relocated to Brooklyn, New York.

In fact, when Freaknik shut down for good in 1999, Sharon was kickstarting her professional career as a Deputy Director of Public Information at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. She reportedly served her for over three years before joining CNN as an Editorial Guest Producer, only to then evolve into a Communications Coordinator at The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY. Per her LinkedIn, she served in both these positions for around a year each, following which she took on the role of Communications & Membership Director at ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities.

Then came Sharon’s 2-year stint at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY as a Political Reporting Fellow and Case Study Partner, lasting from 2011 till 2013. She then returned to Kings County District Attorney’s Office to serve as Director of Interoffice Communications during a transition period before quickly finding herself in Washington to be Franklin Garcia’s Chief of Staff & Senior Policy Advisor for a statehood project. It was only later that she landed the title of Senior VP of Public Affairs & Policy at Matlock Advertising and Public Relations (2016-2017) before becoming Executive Director at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) (2017-2018).

Coming to Sharon’s current standing, upon holding the post of IncuBetter Fellow at The Athena Advisors Consulting in London, England, for eight months in 2021 and then offering Organizational-Nonprofit Support to Black and Brown News (BBN) for three years, she’s now an entrepreneur. This Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation board of directors member plus Black community activist is the Founder-Principal of Toomer Strategies, an organization she launched in 2022 in Silver Spring, Maryland, with the aim of expanding her wings while also enabling others to do the same. She’s even a proud family woman.

Emma Horton Now Prefers to Focus on Her Personal Life Alone

“Once you got to the AU [Atlanta University] campus, just about every state had a club,” Emma candidly stated in the original series. “That was the opportunity to develop your first commodore.” She hence gladly joined the DC Metro Club for her home state, unaware it’d soon lead her to become a founding member of arguably the most infamous street party festival of all time. Freaknik was her pride and joy at one point, particularly as it was the reason Black college students gradually went from “can’t go home to don’t wanna go [home],” that is, until it turned upside down while she found something bigger in family.

We actually say this because Emma now goes by Emma Horton-Ferguson and has a massive support system that provides her with care, joy, love, as well as pride in every way, shape, and form. As for her professional standing, this Elementary Education and Teaching graduate reportedly served as a Counselor for a long time, yet today, she’s simply dedicating herself to her religion. In fact, her Facebook profile makes it clear this Washington DC resident only serves a religious organization named Kingdom of the Most High God these days, all the while being an active Spelman College alumnus.

Monique Tolliver Leads a Quiet Life Today

“The state clubs [in Atlanta University], I think today would be what social media is,” Monique openly expressed in the Hulu production at one point. “The state clubs is what drew people closer.” It was thus little surprise to her when it resulted in them brainstorming get-togethers and parties, yet nobody, not ever her, ever expected the establishment of Freaknik or the extreme level it went to. “Many people couldn’t afford to go home [come time of spring break in fateful 1982],” she added. “I was one of them. So we decided, ‘Hey! We’re all here. We need to get together. We need to do something.'”

Hence came Freaknik, yet Monique vehemently asserted that “when we were doing the freak, it wasn’t scandalous, but it was fun,” especially as it celebrated every part of their Black community. However, everything turned upside down by 1999, driving authorities as well as elected officials to order a cease – though by this point, the college graduate wasn’t even directly associated with the festival anymore. Since then, from what we can tell, she has chosen to remain well away from the limelight, meaning it appears as if she prefers to go through all aspects of her life in private, without any prying eyes.

Amadi Boonne is a Proud Entrepreneur and Family Man

Upon graduating from Morehouse College-Atlanta University, Amadi served at a few establishments before launching his own solutions specialist small business named PPLSI in 2006. Through this, the Freaknik founder empowers plus protects individuals, families, businesses, and employers across North America by providing not only legal services, identity theft protection, privacy & reputation management, but also much more. In fact, whether it be contract reviews, debt collection, IRS taxes, insurance/medical issues, social media expansion, or any other problem someone might face, he has a service for it. Therefore, of course, with the combination of his work and personal life – including a happy wife as well as their three sons, it appears as if this Washington DC native is extremely content these days.

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