In New Orleans Louisiana, toward the end of the 18th century, the French and Spanish owners allowed their slaves to have a free day off on Sundays.

Taking advantage of their free time, the slaves would meet to socialize, trade and engage in various religious and cultural activities. 

Those interactions in public gatherings allowed the slaves to exchange and explore their long lost cultural heritage. They created drum circles, group dances, storytelling and many other forms of artistic expressions.

In the 19th century, the city of New Orlean decided to restrict the slave’s gatherings to a single place. That space was called “La Place Congo”, and it would later be renamed “Congo Square”. 

Today, Congo Square is unanimously recognized as the birthplace of great american musical genres such as blues and Jazz.