Cudjo Lewis, the last known survivor of the transatlantic slave trade will have his story told in a posthumous non-fiction book by Zora Neal Hurston. Hurston is recognized for her literary works, “Of Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The book is scheduled to be released sometime in May.
The book, titled “Barracoon”, is an anthropological work on Cudjo Lewis. Ninety years ago, Hurston made a trip to Plateau, Alabama where she interviewed Lewis. Lewis at the time was in his early nineties. He was the only living African left to tell the story of the capture of 116 Africans from West Africa, their journey into slavery, and their lives as slaves.
Before being freed Lewis worked on the docks of the Alabama River. He purchased land in Plateau, Alabama, and after the abolishment of slavery, Lewis and other Africans established their own community, Africatown.
During the 1930s, Hurston considered publishing the book but didn’t get it out of the first stage. Hurston died in 1960 without the recognition deserved for her many literary works.