Zora Neale Hurston study of last survivor of US slave trade to be published
Due in May, Barracoon is based on the novelist’s 1931 interviews with Cudjo Lewis, who had arrived in the US in 1860
A previously unpublished work by Zora Neale Hurston, in which the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God recounts the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade, is set to be released next year, more than half a century after her death in 1960.
Barracoon is based on the three months Hurston spent in Plateau, Alabama, in 1931, interviewing Cudjo Lewis, who had been carried on the last recorded slave ship to the US. Lewis, who was then 90, spoke to Hurston about how he was captured and held by American slavers in a barracoon, an enclosure used for slaves, and then transported to the US with more than 100 other people on the Clotilde.