Literature at Lakeport – “Barracoon” and “The Last Slave Ship” Book Discussions

Join us to discuss two books focused on the Clotilda, the last slave ship in the United States.

On June 15, from 5:30 to 6:30, we will discuss Zora Neale Hurston’s book Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.”  In 1927, Hurston traveled to Alabama to interview Cudjo Lewis, one of the last survivors of the slave ship Clotilda.  Hurston recorded Cudjo’s story in his own words and her manuscript was not published until 2018.
From the publisher, Amistad,

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston traveled to Plateau, Alabama, to visit eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis, a survivor of the “Clotilda,” the last slaver known to have made the transatlantic journey.  Illegally brought to the United States, Lewis was enslaved fifty years after the slave trade was outlawed.  At the time, Cudjo, was the only known person alive who could recount this integral part of the nation’s history.



On July 20, from 5:30 to 6:30, we will discuss Ben Raines’ book The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How “Clotilda” Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning. Raines discovered the wreckage of the Clotilda in 2019.
From the publisher, Simon and Schuster,

Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the “Clotida” became the last ship to bring enslaved Africans to the United States.  The ship was burned and remained hidden for the next 160 years.  But in 2019, Ben Raines successfully concluded his obsessive quest to uncover one of our nation’s most important historical artifacts in the swamps of Alabama.



Participants will have the opportunity to discuss topics from the books and light refreshments will be served.
Copies of both books are available at libraries in the region.

For additional information or to register for this free event,
please call (870)-265-6031 or email