New Orleans Public Library
African American Resource Center

Tom Dent Literary Festival
November 4-6, 2004
Authors Showcase
Friday, November 5

Writers Freddi Williams Evans and Cora Scott Brown (l-r) were the featured speakers at the 2004 Tom Dent Literary Festival Authors Showcase. Evans' talk on Congo Square was coupled with a slide presentation that showed illustrations of Congo Square throughout its existence.

Brown, the daughter of the late Louisiana civil rights activist John Henry Scott, talked about the civil rights experience in Louisiana as documented in his memoirs Witness to the Truth and shared her personal experience as a child of the movement.

Replicas of instruments played in Congo Square.

Photos and news articles of civil rights incidents in Louisiana and national NAACP conventions.

Freddi Williams Evans, whose forthcoming book will be published by Runnagate Press next year, discussed the uniqueness and similiarities of Congo Square with other gathering places of African slaves. She mentioned that at one point those who gathered in Congo Square reflected the African diaspora. Here she shows a replica of a gourd like instrument played in Congo Square.

Cora Scott Brown quit her job as a risk manager for Santee Cooper Power company in South Carolina to pen her father's memoirs about his work in East Carroll Parish. The book, Witness to the Truth, provides a historical link between newly freed slaves and the current generation, exploring their mindset as well as civil rights struggle. Scott, who was raised in Louisiana, said she and her siblings never really discussed their childhood upbringing when their family was a target for segregationist longing to silence their father, until years following his death.

Following the program, Witness to Truth, was available for purchase with part of the proceeds going to the John H. Scott Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for Louisiana students.

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