Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
Hardcover edition
AuthorZora Neale Hurston
CountryUnited States
SubjectBiography of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade
PublisherAmistad Press
Publication date
May 8, 2018

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" is a non-fiction work by Zora Neale Hurston. It is based on her interviews in 1927 with Oluale Kossola (also known as Cudjoe Lewis) who was presumed to be the last survivor of the Middle Passage.[1][2] Two female survivors were subsequently recognized but Cudjoe continued to be identified as the last living person with clear memories of life in Africa before passage and enslavement.

Hurston could not find a publisher for her manuscript during her lifetime, partly because she preserved Cudjoe Lewis's vernacular English in quoting him from their interviews and partly because she described the involvement of other African people in the business aspects of Atlantic slave trade. The manuscript, which was in the Alain Locke Collection at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, remained unpublished until the 21st century.[3][4] Excerpts were first published in Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, a 2003 biography of Hurston by Valerie Boyd; the full book Barracoon was published in 2018.[3][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zora Neale Hurston's Lost Interview with One of America's Last Living Slaves". Vulture. Archived from the original on 2018-04-30. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  2. ^ Little, Becky. "The Last Slave Ship Survivor Gave an Interview in the 1930s. It Just Surfaced". HISTORY. Archived from the original on 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  3. ^ a b Flood, Alison (2017-12-19). "Zora Neale Hurston study of last survivor of US slave trade to be published". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ Diouf, Sylviane A. (2009). "Cudjo Lewis". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  5. ^ Neary, Lynn (2018-05-02). "Zora Neale Hurston's 'Barracoon' Gets Published, More Than 60 Years Later". Weekend Edition Saturday. NPR. Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2018-05-11.

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