Barracoon - Introduction - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

In her introduction, Zora Neale Hurston explained her reasoning for seeking out Cudjo Lewis, the last surviving man ferried from Africa and sold into American slavery just before the American Civil War. She wrote that there had been a robust literature concerning slavery published in the early twentieth century, but that these books rarely included perspectives from those formerly held in bondage: as she put it, “all these words from the seller, but not one word from the sold” (6). She explained to the reader in her introduction her intention to rectify that by seeking out Cudjo Lewis, who lived in Plateau, Alabama, and was among the last of the native-born Africans brought to America and sold into slavery. She originally met him in July 1927, after being sent to Plateau by Dr. Franz Boas, a cultural anthropologist, to collect his story.

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This section contains 1,663 words
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