Parents' Guide to

Freedom in Congo Square

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Enslaved people's culture, jazz roots shine in lyrical book.

Freedom in Congo Square Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Colonial Congo

It was AMAZING and very educational, however I could not watch with my two young sons It was extremely scary and violent. A true depiction of life at that time... my great great grandfather happened to share some of the same experience because he witnessed most of it. It's great seeing such representation in the media.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much violence
age 10+

54 Title Codes are indispensable balance it out.

I am glad that there's information about enslavement and other. All or most of our elders that can tell us about this historical events are not living. And recently up to date there was a Caucasian women who reacted to black Americans having a barbecue in the park, because they were exercising their Congo Square Freedom to enjoy. Thanks to update I now have insight to how rough our ancestors had to undergo.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This lyrical, beautifully illustrated picture book contrasts harsh realities of enslaved workers' plantation lives in the 1800s with the joyful release of Sunday gatherings in a New Orleans square. Freedom in Congo Square captures the hard work and constraint that the enslaved people experienced six days a week, as well as the celebratory figures of people singing and dancing and feeling a sense of spiritual freedom as they celebrate their heritage on Sundays in a legally designated free zone.

Illustrator R. Gregory Christie's folk art-style paintings in a palette of mostly orange and ochre are warm and inviting. Kids will be drawn in by the art and come away having learned some significant history, including the link between those Sundays and the development of New Orleans jazz.

Book Details

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