In August 1931, famed anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston travelled to Alabama to visit ninety-year-old Cudjo Lewis, a former slave. Over three months, Cudjo shared heart-rending memories of his childhood in Africa; the horrors of being captured – fifty years after slavery was outlawed – and held in the Ouidah barracoons for selection by American slavers; the harrowing ordeal of the Middle Passage aboard the Clotilda with over one hundred other souls; and the years he spent in slavery. Barracoon brings to life Cudjo’s singular voice in an invaluable contribution to history and culture, a work as poignant as it is profound.
The manuscript was completed in 1931, but first published posthumously in 2018.
With an introduction by Alice Walker.
HarperCollins, 2020 (1931)