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Barracoon: A Tribute to Zora Neale Hurston
February 10 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm$20
The eye-opening, terrifying and wonderful Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” a posthumous, previously unpublished nonfiction work by Zora Neale Hurston, demonstrates an intimacy and immediacy
This early effort, completed before Hurston’s fame peaked as an anthropologist and novelist, has the passion and freshness of a young person discovering her true métier. Barracoon came about in 1927, when the then-unknown Hurston was assigned a task by famed anthropologist Franz Boas: interviewing an 86-year-old former slave living in the tiny town of Plateau, Ala. Oluale Kossula — also known by the slave name of Cudjo Lewis — had a remarkable past. Raised to the age of 19 in West Africa, he was captured and brought to the United States as a captive on Clotilda, the fabled last ship ever to ply the waters of the transatlantic slave trade.
This remarkable oral history was only published in 2018. In this tribute to Hurston’s pioneering work and in honor of Black History Month, Tony Award winner L. Scott Caldwell and the venerable Bill Cobbs from the Ebony Repertory Theatre will present a staged reading from Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.”
UCLA historian Wade Dean will provide a short overview of Hurston’s contributions, and an audience discussion with producer-director Wren T. Brown follows the program.
Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles Urban League