Barracoon: The Story Of The Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale HurstonBarracoon: The Story Of The Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston

Barracoon: The Story Of The Last Black Cargo

byZora Neale Hurston

Hardcover | May 8, 2018

see the collection Black Voices

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New York Times Bestseller

Amazon's Best History Book of the Year 2018

TIME Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of 2018

New York Public Library’s Best Book of 2018

NPR’s Book Concierge Best Book of 2018

Economist Book of the Year

SELF.com’s Best Books of 2018

Audible’s Best of the Year

BookRiot’s Best Audio Books of 2018

The Atlantic’s Books Briefing: History, Reconsidered

Atlanta Journal Constitution, Best Southern Books 2018

The Christian Science Monitor’s Best Books 2018

Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of the Year

“A profound impact on Hurston’s literary legacy.”—New York Times

“One of the greatest writers of our time.”—Toni Morrison

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

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.

Zora Neale Hurston was born in 1901 in Eatonville, Fla. She left home at the age of 17, finished high school in Baltimore, and went on to study at Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University before becoming one of the most prolific writers in the Harlem Renaissance. Her works included novels, essays, plays, and studies ...
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Title:Barracoon: The Story Of The Last Black CargoFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.77 inPublished:May 8, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062748203

ISBN - 13:9780062748201

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I'm glad that I bought this book. I heard some good things about it but I was worried that people may have been overhyping it, which seems to happen a lot these days. I was not disappointed! Cudjo's story is just one of many, and I think anybody interested in learning more about the impacts of the transatlantic slave trade, or wants to delve further into African-American literature will enjoy this novel.
Date published: 2018-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deep I almost didn’t buy this book simply because I thought it would be another « watered down » version of historical truth. It. Was. Not! This book is a must for the heart and mind. It starts heavy and goes deep - offering a balanced account of this man’s experience.
Date published: 2018-06-24

Editorial Reviews

“[Zora’s] newly published book, released for the first time 87 years after it was written, will shed new light on the author as a historical chronicler.”