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Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" (Large Print / Paperback)

Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
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Description


New York Times Bestseller

A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

Praise For…


“Short enough to be read in a single sitting, this book is one of those gorgeous, much too fleeting things...Brimming with observational detail from a man whose life spanned continents and eras, the story is at times devastating, but Hurston’s success in bringing it to light is a marvel.”

“Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece.”

“A profound impact on Hurston’s literary legacy.”

“Barracoon and its long path to print is a testament to Zora’s singular vision amid so many competing pressures that continue to put us at war with ourselves.”

“Zora Neale Hurston’s recovered masterpiece, Barracoon, is a stunning addition to several overlapping canons of American literature.”

“An invaluable addition to American social, cultural, and political history.”

“Sure to be widely read.”

“Barracoon is a testament to [Zora’s] patient fieldwork”

Barracoon is an impactful story that will stick with you long after the final page.”

Barracoon is a piece of the puzzle we didn’t know we were missing. Ms. Zora has captured through the lens of Cudjo Lewis a glimpse into what the slave trade, Middle Passage, and first steps onto American soil meant for millions. The narrative of Cudjo reminds us of the faith and hope that got us here despite it all.”


Product Details
ISBN: 9780062864369
ISBN-10: 006286436X
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: HarperLuxe
Publication Date: May 8th, 2018
Pages: 256
Language: English