Barracoon : The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
by Hurston, Zora Neale; Plant, Deborah G. (EDT); Walker, Alice (FRW)

Foreword: Those Who Love Us Never Leave Us Alone with Our Grief: Reading Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"ix
Alice Walker
Editor's Notexxvii
II The King Arrives
VI Barracoon
VII Slavery
VIII Freedom
IX Marriage
X Kossula Learns About Law
XII Alone
Takkoi or Attako--Children's Game
Stories Kossula Told Me
The Monkey and the Camel
Story of de Jonah
Now Disa Abraham Fadda de Faitful
The Lion Woman
Afterword and Additional Materials Edited
Deborah G. Plant
Founders and Original Residents of Africatown145(2)

Presents a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God that 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. 150,000 first printing.

*Starred Review* In 1931, years before the fiction and folklore that ultimately would make her famous, Hurston completed a nonfiction account of a man who was one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. Kossola (Cudjo Lewis) was captured at age 19, lived for five-and-a-half years as a slave, and later helped found Africatown, renamed Plateau, Alabama. As an ethnographer, Hurston came to meet and interview the 86-year-old Kossola but understood the value of his first-person narrative as folk art, preserving stories and traditions conveyed by those who actually lived them. Like a griot and in his own vernacular, Kossola recalled his life in Africa, the wars that resulted in enslavement, the Middle Passage journey to America, and life as a slave. He also spoke of his Christian faith and memories of the spiritual traditions of his homeland and his lifelong yearning for Africa. The introduction provides context for Hurston's struggle with the conventions of ethnography and her own appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the slave trade from the perspective of the enslaved. This is a fascinating look at the journey of one man, reflective of the African American experience. It also attests to Hurston's development as an author and ethnographer, and stands as a work of profound relevance, its illumination of slavery, freedom, and race as timely as ever. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This newly published work by trailblazer Hurston, with a foreword by Alice Walker, will garner tremendous attention. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A newly discovered work of anthropological and historical reportage by the canonical African-American writer.Cudjo Lewis (c. 1841-1935), originally named Kossola, was enslaved in America for five years. An Isha Yoruba from the town of Bantè, he arrived in Alabama as the Civil War was stirring. A student of the pioneering ethnologist Franz Boas, Hurston (Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-Tales from the Gulf States, 2001, etc.) conducted a series of interviews with Lewis toward the end of his life, in 1927, who, on learning of her interest, said, "Thankee Jesus! Somebody come ast about Cudjo! I want tellee somebody who I is, so maybe day go in de Afficky soil some day and callee my name and somebody say, ‘Yeah, I know Kossola.' " The initial manuscript, a scholarly article, fell into disrepute when, in the 1970s, scholars discerned that it borrowed heavily from existing literature. This fuller manuscript derives from Hurston's original fieldwork, so that there is no question of plagiarism. Editor Plant observes that in the work, Hurston "was engaged in the process of actualizing her vision of herself as a social scientist and an artist who was determined to present Kossola's story in as authentic a manner as possible." That authenticity includes rendering his words in patois. While Hurston writes that even though Kossola's account is not strictly historical, it serves "to emphasize his remarkable memory." That mark of the griot, or West African traditional storyteller, is evident as Kossola recounts moments of resistance, as when enslaved women rose up against a vicious overseer: "dey all jump on him and lashee him wid it. He doan never try whip Affican women no mo'." Such episodes, including one in which Kossola tried to convince his former owner to give the manumitted slaves some of the land on which he worked, are historically valuable indeed, while his renderings of biblical stories and West African folktales are of ethnograph i c interest. We are fortunate to have this late work of Hurston's, which is sure to be widely read. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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