New Orleans City Council
April 28, 2011
Regular Meeting Summary
Officially Named and Designated Congo Square
The Council received a presentation by author and historian, Freddi Williams Evans, and passed Ordinance Calendar No. 28,411, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, to officially name and dedicate Congo Square in honor of the 18th century gatherings of enslaved Africans and free people of color that took place in the square located inside what is today known as Armstrong Park. Although popularly known as Congo Square, a name that is deeply rooted in the history of New Orleans, it previously had not been officially designated, as such. Armstrong Park and Congo Square are located in the Treme neighborhood. The park is famous for its African-American history and is part of the African-American Heritage Cultural District.
District “C” Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, “By restoring the name, Congo Square will continue to be remembered for the birthplace of the culture and music of New Orleans. In fact, Jazz is the only truly indigenous American art form, and arguably its genesis was Congo Square, a true gift to the entire country and world.”
This ordinance changed the official name of the location, after 118 years, from Beauregard Square (named after Confederate General P. T. G. Beauregard in 1893) to Congo Square, which had been the popular name of the location in the 1800s. However, no ordinance had made it the official name.
“A Proposition to Change the Name of Congo Square to Beauregard Square.” The Times-Picayune, March 15, 1893.
Eggler, Bruce. “Congo Square Naming is on Agenda for New Orleans City Council.” NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, April, 25, 2011.
McNulty, Ian. “Congo Square, the Name.” MyNewOrleans.com, April 27, 2011.
DeBerry, Jarvis. “Going Back to Congo Square.” NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, April, 26, 2011.
Save the Municipal Auditorium (In Congo Square) in New Orleans.