Posts Tagged ‘Barracoon’

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It’s always fun to find a “new” book by a deceased author whose published work you’ve enjoyed. One such book is by Zora Neale Hurston, who before her death in 1960 had completed a study about the last survivor of the Atlantic slave trade.

As Daniel Johnson reports at the Black Youth Project, “Barracoon tells the story of the last known person to survive the transatlantic slave trade, a man named Cudjo Lewis. Many know that Hurston was an acclaimed fiction writer, but here it is her work as an anthropologist that shines. Hurston was able to sit down in the Black community of Plateau, Alabama, which was founded by Cudjo Lewis and other ex-slaves from the ship that brought them to America, and talk with the then 95-year-old Lewis about his life in 1931.

“Barracoon takes its title from the kind of ship that Lewis and company were held in. … Hurston talks with Lewis about memories and experiences from his childhood in Africa up until the end of the American Civil War. …

“Pre-order is available at both Harper Collins and Amazon … Barracoon is available for purchase from retailers on May 8, 2018.” More on the book here.

The Black Youth Project, where Daniel Johnson reports, came into being about 14 years ago. According to the website, it was “a national research project launched in 2004 that examined the attitudes, resources, and culture of African American youth ages 15 to 25, exploring how these factors and others influence the decision-making, norms, and behavior of black youth.

“Understanding the need to make this data available to a wider constituency beyond the academy, Professor Cathy Cohen, the Black Youth Project’s principle investigator, decided to create an online hub. …

“The Black Youth Project’s website is a cyber-resource center for black youth and all those who are committed to enriching the lives of black youth. Within the pages of this website, visitors can access research summaries, read blogs about and by black youth, search an extensive rap database, access black youth social justice organizations, and download social justice curricula to teach.”

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