Chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, this poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human’s capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans’ Congo Square was truly freedom’s heart. Mondays, there were hogs to slop, mules to train, and logs to chop. Slavery was no ways fair. Six more days to Congo Square. As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.
Two-time NAACP Image Award winner Carole Boston Weatherford is a New York Times best-selling author and poet. Her books include the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Becoming Billie Holiday, and the Caldecott Honor Books Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Freedom in Congo Square, and Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. For career achievements, she has been recognized by the North Carolina English Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. She teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Visit her online at CBWeatherford.com.
R. Gregory Christie has illustrated over forty books and is the recipient of numerous awards including the NAACP’s Image Award in Illustration. His books include Bad News for Outlaws and Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He lives in Georgia.
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