I love reading biographies and am often asked for a list of my favorites. I have too many to list here. However, today, I polished off one that was written back in 1927 but only found a publisher this past year. The book is titled Barracoon. Don’t read it unless you are ready to cry like a baby.
You see, friend, this is the story of Cudjo Lewis who was at the time the last survivor of the last Black cargo ship (1859). He granted anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston a series of interviews back in 1927 but nobody thought it a conversation worth publishing – at least not until now. I don’t pretend to understand the depth of the divide, but reading stuff like Barracoon helps. Good, rich, real biographies are anti-whine pills. This one is short and not sweet. Read it and start appreciating how blessed you and I.
Cudjo Lewis was only nineteen years old when his village was raided by another African tribe. They slaughtered everyone that was not young enough to be sellable. Held in barracoons, barracks barely fit for a body, until some Southerners came a calling to carry them to Alabama. This is a story to soften all of our hearts. Read it. Reflect. And, act like someone with something to share.