An Account of One of The Last Africans Sold Into Slavery

The New York Times recently ran a news story about the posthumous publication of Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon, her account of the life of Cudjo Lewis. Lewis was thought to be the last surviving African who had been captured in his native country, shipped across the Atlantic and sold into slavery in 1859; this was 50 years after the United States Congress had outlawed importing captive Africans to America for sale as human chattel — because it was deemed that being born free they were likely to fight for their freedom than people who had been born into slavery (which led to the rise of “breeding plantations” in the U.S. — a whole other horror). As per the author, the Times notes:

“Hurston, who died in 1960, is best known for her works of fiction, including ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ and ‘Moses, Man of the Mountain.’ But she was also a groundbreaking anthropologist and ethnographer, one of the first in her field to record and study African-American folklore, at a time when most scholars ignored black culture, or dismissed it as primitive.” [she was a valued colleague of Alan Lomax and contributed to his Global Jukebox which finally launched last years after decades of development]

Of the book, the Times wrote:

“’Of all the millions transported from Africa to the Americas, only one man is left,’ she wrote in ‘Barracoon.’ ‘The only man on earth who has in his heart the memory of his African home; the horrors of a slave raid; the barracoon; the Lenten tones of slavery; and who has 67 years of freedom in a foreign land behind him.’”

What does this have to do with magick? Nothing at all. What does it have to do with understanding the civilization that American magicians find themselves in? I leave that up to y’all to determine

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *