Review: Freedom in Congo Square

Freedom in Congo Square :: Children's Book Review
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Freedom in Congo Square

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie

Published in 2016 by Little Bee Books

Freedom in Congo Square is a vibrantly illustrated book written in the form of rhyming couplets about the history of Congo Square in New Orleans. Traditionally, slaves in Louisiana had Sunday afternoons free from forced labor. African Americans would gather in Congo Square to preserve their cultural practices and traditions by dancing, singing, and making music together. The bright illustrations and rhythmic text honor a beautiful piece of African American heritage and share the history of Congo Square. The book also includes a glossary and an author’s note that provides deeper explanations of the celebratory background of Congo Square.

*Caldecott Medal

*Coretta Scott King Honor Award

Additional Resources:

Author Carole Boston Weatherford biography and video interviews:

National Education Association article “Freedom in Congo Square Celebrates the Dominance of Spirit Over Suffering” with extension activities:

Congo Square history:


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