Freedom in Congo Square (2016) by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie.
I love picture books that are truly poems. Freedom in Congo Square tells a rhythmic interpretation of the weekly countdown to the one half-day of free time granted to slaves in New Orleans. Each day of the week is represented through the grind of the work and abuse heaped on different slaves in different situations. This acknowledgement of the tough conditions helps emphasize the importance of Congo Square and the relative "freedom" it represented, as slaves were allowed time to themselves to freely sing, dance, and host markets.
The book opens with a full-page spread setting the historical context, and it ends with a lengthy author's note about the history and the actual location of Congo Square (now a part of Louis Armstrong Park). This one is a favorite of our school librarian and may make it into the running for our school's Mock Caldecott conversation as well.
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