I must admit it was not until I was 26 when I discovered Zora Neale Hurston. My first book of hers I read was a birthday present and I am eternally grateful to my friend for this gift. My opinion it should be mandatory to read Zora Neale Hurston in all schools. So when I found out that a new book never published coming out in 2018, I instantly got so excited and can’t to get my hands on the book with some wine and read away.
Never before released book called Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo about Cudjoe Kazoola Lewis, last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and North America, 1920’s
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 to spend an immersive three months interviewing him about his past memories, childhood in Africa, and his journey to the Americas. These stories eventually became ‘Barracoon’.
As a leader in the Harlem Renaissance Zora Neale Hurston was a revolutionary in helping to protect the rights of African Americans. She was known during the Harlem Renaissance for her wit, irreverence, and folk writing style.
Zora Neale Hurston is confirmation that when trying to fight for your rights, your freedom or even you acceptance in society there are passive ways in which you can present your arguments and there are more forward ways. She was able to use both techniques throughout her time to reach some type of racial equality. Hurston was an inspiration the civil rights movement and will always be remembered as one.
Zora was praised for her dope writing and condemned for her independence, arrogance, and audaciousness.
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing… And Then Again: A Zora Neale Hurston Reader
“It was bad enough for white people, but when one of your own color could be so different it put you on a wonder. It was like seeing your sister turn into a gator. A familiar strangeness. You keep seeing your sister in the gator and the gator in your sister, and you’d rather not.”