book review: Freedom in Congo Square

IMG_1359title: Freedom in Congo Square
author: Carole Boston Weatherford
illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
date: Little Bee Books/Bonnier Publishing, 2016
picture book


Freedom in Congo Square is all about Sunday.

From Monday through Saturday, life without work is rare. The enslaved men and women labor in straight lines.

Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie tell of the work, the fear and the underlying thought of one day in freedom in Congo Square. Here, the enslavement transcend into free movements, curvaceous, rhythmical movements.


“It was a market and a gathering ground where African Music could resound.”

Freddi Williams Evans, historian and Congo Square expert has written a forward to the book that squarely explains and sets the stage for the book. Readers know Congo Square is a real place with a long history that began when enslaved Africans gathered there on Sunday, the holy day, to attend church, sell food, dance and listen to music. Here, where enslaved people could gather with family and friends on this one day they owned. yes indeed, slaves smiled.

They knew from where they came.


The simple telling, the undercurrent of hope, message of resistance and the bold, imaginative artwork give way to a narrative that is quite appropriate for any age child