Friday, February 18, 2011

Congo Square

On November 28, 1817 Congo Square became a registered area of the southern area of Louis Armstrong Memorial Park in New Orleans. Officially named Beauregard Square, the site was a large home for African American music and dancing. Before 1800, Black slaves gathered on Sunday afternoon in the open field for many different reasons. They, also, used the space as a market place. In 1817, the New Orleans City Council passed legislation allowing slaves to meet and have a place to gather on Sunday afternoons, which was informally named Congo Square. The use of this area declined in the 1840s and ended by the beginning of the Civil War.
It had brought about not only jazz music, but also New Orleans jazz music and is a staple to those who play and listen to jazz today. It has since been listed on the National Register of Historical Places. There never is a for sure way of knowing what may have helped or lead jazz music in America, but Congo Square and Louis Armstrong Memorial Park did have an impact on the development of music in the south.

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