The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”
Cover for Barracoon
Published: May 8, 2018
ISBN: 9780062748201
ISBN: 9780062748225
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.

Praise for Barracoon

Zora Neale Hurston’s genius has once again produced a Maestrapiece.
— Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple
Barracoon is a powerful, breathtakingly beautiful, and at times, heart wrenching, account of one man’s story, eloquently told in his own language. Zora Neale Hurston gives Kossola control of his narrative— a gift of freedom and humanity. It completely reinforces for me the fact that Zora Neale Hurston was both a cultural anthropologist and a truly gifted, and compassionate storyteller, who sat in the sometimes painful silence with Kossola and the depth and breadth of memory as a slave. Such is a narrative filled with emotions and histories bursting at the intricately woven seams.
— Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
That Zora Neale Hurston should find and befriend Cudjo Lewis, the last living man with firsthand memory of capture in Africa and captivity in Alabama, is nothing shy of a miracle. Barracoon is a testament to the enormous losses millions of men, women and children endured in both slavery and freedom—a story of urgent relevance to every American, everywhere.
— Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Life on Mars and Wade in the Water
Barracoon reinforces what those of us who love Hurston’s work have known all along: her keen intellect and curiosity was only surpassed by her genuine empathy for her subjects. This book is not just an account of one man’s survival in the face of atrocity, it’s a celebration of language and tradition; a clear labor of love.
— Angela Flournoy, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Turner House