Freedom In Congo Square

Book Summary: 

Set in the early 1800’s, this book progresses through a typical work week for New Orleans slaves. Day after day, there is much work to be done, however, the slaves are always thinking of the number of days until Sunday, which is their only day off as mandated by the laws of the early 1800’s. On Sunday the slaves congregate in Congo Square, where they are free to dress, speak, worship, sing, and dance in their culture as they please.

Carole Boston Weatherford
R. Gregory Christie
Little Bee Books - Bonnier Publishing Group
Guiding Question: 

Have you ever really looked forward to something? What was it? Was it difficult for you to focus on other responsibilities or tasks as you waited?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- In the past, in the United States and currently in other countries, slavery exists. Slaves were owned by their masters. That means slaves could not make nearly any decisions for themselves. Slaves’ days were planned out by their masters and they had to do a lot of hard physical labor.  Can you imagine how you would feel? How would you get through these situations?

Empathy- How would you feel if you were only allowed to do what you wanted or have “free time” for one afternoon out of the week? Is this fair?

Advocacy- Encourage students to express themselves as they please, since they now all groups of people have the freedom to do so in the United States.

Action- Be an advocate for individual rights, and realize that there were many struggles that our country had to go through to get to where we are now. For example, many long years of slavery, Civil War, Civil Rights movement, and military forces fighting for and currently protecting our freedom.


Reviewed by McKenna Waldroup, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate