Item Details

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

Zora Neale Hurston ; edited by Deborah G. Plant ; foreword by Alice Walker
Format
Book
Published
New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Variant Title
Story of the last "black cargo"
ISBN
0062748203, 9780062748201
Summary
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.--Publisher's website.
Contents
  • Foreword: Those who love us never leave us alone with our grief : reading Barracoon : the story of the last "black cargo" / by Alice Walker
  • Introduction
  • Editor's note
  • Barracoon. Preface
  • The king arrives
  • Barracoon
  • Slavery
  • Freedom
  • Marriage
  • Kossula learns about law
  • Alone
  • Appendix. Takkoi or Attako--children's game
  • Stories Kossula told me
  • The monkey and the camel
  • Story of de Jonah
  • Now disa Abraham fadda de faitful
  • The lion woman
  • Afterword and additional materials / edited by Deborah G. Plant.
Description
xxviii, 171 pages : illustration, portrait ; 22 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-171).
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| Foreword: Those who love us never leave us alone with our grief : reading Barracoon : the story of the last "black cargo" / by Alice Walker -- Introduction -- Editor's note -- Barracoon. Preface -- Introduction -- The king arrives -- Barracoon -- Slavery -- Freedom -- Marriage -- Kossula learns about law -- Alone -- Appendix. Takkoi or Attako--children's game -- Stories Kossula told me -- The monkey and the camel -- Story of de Jonah -- Now disa Abraham fadda de faitful -- The lion woman -- Afterword and additional materials / edited by Deborah G. Plant.
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    a| 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.--Publisher's website.
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