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New Zora Neale Hurston Book Coming In 2018

New Zora Neale Hurston Book Coming In 2018

New Zora Neale Hurston Book Coming In 2018

Source: Library of Congress Digital Collections

A new Zora Neale Hurston book is coming in 2018.

READ: The Oldest African-American City In America That Inspired Zora Neale Hurston’s Their eyes Were Watching God Is 130 Years Old

As one Twitter user pointed out, the book, which is titled Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. HarperCollins, the company behind the book’s publishing, also has the book listed on its website.

Described as a “never-before-published work” from HarperCollins, Barracoon “tells the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade—illegally smuggled from Africa on the last ‘Black Cargo’ ship to arrive in the United States.”

A synopsis of the book is as follows:

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, to interview ninety-five-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 Clotilde, 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 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.

Barracoon drops on May 8, 2018.



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