Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
Barracoon The Story of the Last Black Cargo cover.jpg
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 Cudjoe Lewis, the (at the time) last presumed living survivor of the Middle Passage.[1][2] The book failed to find a publisher at the time, in part because it was written in vernacular, and also in part because it described the involvement of other African people in the business of Atlantic slave trade.[1] While two later, female survivors were eventually discovered, Cudjoe remained the last to have clear memories of life in Africa before his enslavement and passage.

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which was in the Alain Locke Collection at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, remained unpublished until the 21st century.[3][4] Excerpts from the book were first published in Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, a 2003 biography of Hurston by Valerie Boyd.[3] The full book was published in 2018.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Zora Neale Hurston's Lost Interview with One of America's Last Living Slaves". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  2. ^ Little, Becky. "The Last Slave Ship Survivor Gave an Interview in the 1930s. It Just Surfaced". HISTORY. 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. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ Diouf, Sylviane A. (2009). "Cudjo Lewis". Encyclopedia of Alabama. 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. Retrieved 2018-05-11.

Further reading[edit]