Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo

Zora Neale Hurston (Author) Robin Miles (Read by)
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Description

A major literary event: a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God that 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 brilliantly illuminates 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.

Product Details

Price
$39.99
Publisher
HarperCollins
Publish Date
May 08, 2018
Dimensions
5.3 X 0.6 X 6.8 inches | 0.17 pounds
Language
English
Type
MP3 CD
EAN/UPC
9781538519301

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About the Author

Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. Of Hurston's four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. In addition to new editions of her work being published after a revival of interest in her in 1975, her manuscript Every Tongue Got to Confess, a collection of folktales gathered in the 1920s, was published posthumously after being discovered in the Smithsonian archives.
Robin Miles, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, has won several Audie and Earphones Awards. She holds a BA in theater studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.

Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist. She was the author of four novels (Jonah's Gourd Vine, 1934; Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937; Moses, Man of the Mountain, 1939; and Seraph on the Suwanee, 1948); two books of folklore (Mules and Men, 1935; and Tell My Horse, 1938); an autobiography (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942); and more than fifty short stories, essays, and plays. She attended Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University, and graduated from Barnard College in 1927. She was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and grew up in Eatonville, Florida. She died in Fort Pierce, Florida, in 1960. In 1973, Alice Walker had a headstone placed at Hurston's grave site with this epitaph: Zora Neale Hurston: A Genius of the South.