Zor Neale Hurston: Barracoon


Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”

Trained as an anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston was finishing her degree studies when she interviewed Cudjo “Kassulo” Lewis. As an anthropologist, she attempted to bring the reader closer to the voice of Lewis by replicating his African-English dialect. Hard for some readers to understand, her book was rejected by publishers unless she altered (translated) the dialect. She refused on principle, and the book was not published until over 50 years after her death.

Prompt: Considering Hurston’s literary choice to use Lewis’ vernacular dialect, what do you think was gained or lost by her choice? What was your experience reading this story in vernacular. Do you think Hurston made the right choice in keeping Lewis’ vernacular dialect in the book, or do you think she should’ve adapted the text to standard English?


For this paper, I will be looking for a strong topic sentence, serving as your argument/thesis. Ill also look for you to work your argument through the paper, using textual evidence (short quotes) to support your argument. The argument should be wrapped up in conclusion sentence. Of course, Ill also look for grammar, style, citations, and a work cited page.

Read your paper aloud before submitting it to eLearning


Minimum Word Count- 300 words

Format: ONE PARAGRAPH, standard MLA heading, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font.