Freaknik Lawyer Is Up for Prestigious Lawrence W. Levine Award

September 2, 2019 Off By Michael
Harold Michael Harvey sporting his signature orange tie. Photo (c) 2019 Cascade Publishing House

Freaknik Lawyer the epic memoir by Harold Michael Harvey has been entered into The Lawrence W. Levine Award. This prestigious book award is given annually by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book in American cultural history.

In Freaknik Lawyer, Harvey connects the dots between the Black college spring break festival nicknamed Freaknik to the seminal civil rights supreme court cases of Plessy v. Ferguson which legalized Jim Crow and the Brown v. The Topeka Board of Education which in principle outlawed Jim Crow laws.

“Freaknik was a cultural phenomenon that sprung up organically out of a need Black college students had to socialize with other Black college students. However, these young people did not anticipate the backlash their spring break celebration would receive from Black political leaders in Atlanta, Georgia,” Harvey said.

A young fire breathing lawyer named H. Michael Harvey single-handily stood up for Black college students during the height of Freaknik. From the Fulton County Daily Report

“The cultural-historical significance of Freaknik is that Black college students in the 1990s occupied the streets of Atlanta long before the occupy movement was a political act, long before Fergurson taught us that Black Lives Matter and a good decade before the invention of the iPhone made it possible to report in real-time the treatment of Blacks in the streets of America,” Harvey explained.

“I believe Freaknik Lawyer should, at the very least, receive consideration for The Lawrence W. Levine Award as the best book which tackles American cultural history, published in 2019,” Harvey opined.

From the desk of C. M. Harvey

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. Harvey is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received because of his pro bono representation of students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s.  He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. Contact him at