Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

79 views
Buddy Reads > Buddy Read: Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
This is the thread for the discussion of Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston.

The book discussion will begin Sunday July 1st.

Please feel free to post any articles/information regarding the book.


message 2: by Ace (new)

Ace (aceonroam) There is a typo in the thread heading Beverly.

I have this book, but not sure if I can squeeze it in in the next couple of weeks, but I will try!!!


message 3: by PS (new)

PS I have the book too and I’ve read the introduction by Deborah G Plant. I can’t wait to read Cudjo’s story.

I thought I’d share this article: Zora Neale Hurston and the Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade’s Last Survivor
https://www.thenation.com/article/zor...


message 4: by tortoise (new)

tortoise dreams (tortoise_dreams) | 2 comments Thank you for the article! Just finished reading the book -- it was amazing.


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Ace wrote: "There is a typo in the thread heading Beverly.

I have this book, but not sure if I can squeeze it in in the next couple of weeks, but I will try!!!"


Yes, I do and I thought I was typing so carefully!! :)


message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
If the subject matter interests you might be interested in reading this NF book:

Dreams of Africa in Alabama The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America by Sylviane A. Diouf

Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America by Sylviane A. Diouf.


message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
I was thinking how the reading schedule should look for Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo".

I welcome any suggestions/thoughts.

The part written by Zora Neale Hurston is a little less than 100 pages.

Suggested schedule:

July 1 - July 6
Forward
Introduction
Editor's Note

July 7 - July 14
Barracoon (p.3 - 112)

July 17
Entire Book Open for Discussion

Thoughts?


message 8: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" is also available for free as an audio book on www.hoopladigital.com.

All you need is a library card (many library systems have this as one of the electronic resources.


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
I will say that Robin Miles does an excellent job narrating Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo".

Her narration of the "body" of the book and speaking Kossula's words is outstanding.

I actually read along while listening for this part to help me ensure that I did not get distracted when just reading the dialect.


message 10: by Lata (new)

Lata | 293 comments Her narration is outstanding. I finished the audiobook and am still thinking about Kosula's story. (I hope I got the spelling of his name correct.)


message 11: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Lata wrote: "Her narration is outstanding. I finished the audiobook and am still thinking about Kosula's story. (I hope I got the spelling of his name correct.)"

I was so impressed as Robin Miles spoke in dialect - how smooth and natural it was.
When I read books with a little dialect, I often read it our loud (or mouth the words) to make it easier for me but I do have to repeat (go over) words/phases but she spoke it like it was her native tongue.


message 12: by Lata (new)

Lata | 293 comments Exactly!
And I do the same thing for text written in dialect to help me understand it more easily.


message 13: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
How is everyone coming along with Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"?

As often happens with me when reading NF I get caught up in reading the footnotes and often doing research/reading on a particular footnote that interests me.

One of the books that I have also been that I have been picking up to explore about some of the footnotes is Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America.

In Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" it was mentioned that the transatlantic slave trade to the US was illegal after 1807, and the Meahers were fined for the Clotilda but it was never paid.

But two facts that I learned recently from research were:
- the trade was illegal but its victims were not and there ways of making them above-board as soon as they arrived. The 1833 Alabama Code stated that illegally brought or imported Africans were to be sold lawfully to the highest bidder at public action.
- "A presidential pardon was de rigueur. Thomas Jefferso, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson all pardoned slavers caught re-handed."

Here is a link to a video where Sylviane A. Diouf speaks about her book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m45W...

Here is a link to a video re: Africa Town by a recent resident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y69l...


message 14: by tortoise (new)

tortoise dreams (tortoise_dreams) | 2 comments sorry to be trivial after your impressive research (!), but I learned Questlove was descended from Clotilda survivors. Also Hurston apparently made a short film about Cudjo(?).


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
tortoise wrote: "sorry to be trivial after your impressive research (!), but I learned Questlove was descended from Clotilda survivors. Also Hurston apparently made a short film about Cudjo(?)."

Not trivial at all.
The more we share the more we are aware.

Thanks for sharing.


message 16: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 104 comments I just got my copy, and enjoyed Alice Walker's heartfelt foreword. I should be able to dig into this in the next few days.

Homegoing shed some light on the slave trade for me, but I'm anxious to learn more, difficult as I'm sure it will be. I'm looking forward to Zora's unique perspective.


message 17: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
What is you think of the format of the book?
Did understand the history of the book and the time enhance the reading experience of Kossula's words?


message 18: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 104 comments I've been taking my time with the glossary before reading the Introduction(s). I found it so informative. The specific history included much information I did not previously know. Although I'm anxious to get to Kossula's words, I think with the groundwork set out for me first I'll get more out of it.


message 19: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Kathleen wrote: "I've been taking my time with the glossary before reading the Introduction(s). I found it so informative. The specific history included much information I did not previously know. Although I'm anxi..."

That is how I read this book.
And yes, I found all of the background information helpful and prepared me for Kossula's words.


message 20: by Lata (new)

Lata | 293 comments I really appreciated the background info. It helped me understand a little more about Hurston, and her approach with Kossula.


message 21: by Monica (last edited Jul 26, 2018 08:50AM) (new)

Monica (monicae) | 495 comments So what did everyone think? I admit to being a little vexed about my own reaction. I understand the literary value and the anthropological value of the interview, but I was expecting something else. I guess I got more information about his African life than about his life in America. I understand the loss, but I don't quite understand the man he became and what molded him. Maybe that is the point. Time stopped when his village was destroyed and that was his only sense of self. What followed was a ghost that married and made a family etc but the most vivid recollections and his since of focus were before his capture. One thing is for sure (for me), he doesn't seem to identify as the last of anything. His sense of self wasn't tied to being the last transported slave. That is definitely a sort of societal construct. Still sorting it out in my head.


message 22: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Monica wrote: "So what did everyone think? I admit to being a little vexed about my own reaction. I understand the literary value and the anthropological value of the interview, but I was expecting something else..."

I understand your thoughts.
I too was not sure what to expect and like you I understand the value of this account and that fortunately it was not "destroyed" as many stories/information were.

One of the thoughts I had was that so much of what is "taught" about reconstruction is a very slanted view that really needs to be rewritten it how it is textbooks and taught in school as this is where most people "learn" their history.

As a young anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston was still a "student" in learning how to prompt the information as her role was mainly to be an observing and that Kossula's age and what he wanted to talk about was up to him. Yes, it seems his life stopped when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Through "free" life was not kind to him with losing his wife and children by the time he was interviewed. As a lot of people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives - he really did not want to talk about it and really not understanding how valuable his words would be in the future.

I thought his focus on remembering his life in Africa is what kept him going and was about how he was able to live each day through slavery and when slavery was abolished.

I think you might like the book: Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America by Sylviane A. Diouf which is very good account of the slave ship Clotilda, the people who were enslaved, the lives in Africa, when enslaved, where freed and their descendants.


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Rigg | 99 comments I know I'm late to this discussion, but I just finished this on audiobook. I thought it was wonderful, but so SAD.

I appreciated that Hurston let Cudjoe tell the story in his own way, even if it isn't' in the narrative structure we might expect.


message 24: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2892 comments Mod
Here is an update on the slave ship Clotilda:

With slave ship Clotilda found, the work of healing a community begins
News of the discovery brings joy, tears, and hope for racial justice.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/cu...

Last American slave ship is discovered in Alabama

The schooner Clotilda smuggled African captives into the U.S. in 1860, more than 50 years after importing slaves was outlawed.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/cu...


back to top