He was one of the last slaves: Cudjo Lewis reported on his abduction in the United States

"It is still day, because the people who sleep, from the noise of wax, like the people of Dahomey to break open the Big gate. I am not yet. Still in bed. I hea

He was one of the last slaves: Cudjo Lewis reported on his abduction in the United States

"It is still day, because the people who sleep, from the noise of wax, like the people of Dahomey to break open the Big gate. I am not yet. Still in bed. I hear you leave the gate. I hear the screaming of the soldiers, as they pursue the goal.

I jump out of bed and watch. I see many soldiers with a French rifle in Hand and a large knife. There are also women soldiers, and the race with large diameter and make noise. They catch people and cut with the knife to the neck, so, then you rotate the head, and he goes from the neck. , Bad, bad!“

Of Africans, purchased from Americans

So Cudjo Lewis described as an old man, the grisly turning point in his life. 19 years old, he was raided as a warrior of the king of Dahomey in 1860, his town in present-day Benin, many of the inhabitants massacred and the Survivors into slavery kidnapped. After a long March they were locked in a "Barracoon", a slave prison, on the West African coast. Americans bought 125 of them, including Lewis, and they brought the boat to Alabama.

"Barracoon. The story of the last American slaves“ is the title under which the German Translation has recently appeared. In the USA, the book 2018, was published and quickly became a best-seller. Is created, however, it is already almost a century ago. The African-American writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston wrote, in what had told her about Cudjo Lewis for several months, about his life. Book tip (display)

Barracoon: The story of the last American slave, Zora Neale Hurston, Penguin publishing, 224 pages, 20 Euro

To the book at Amazon

In 1931, asked Hurston to her to finish the book. But no publisher wanted to publish it was at the time. What was probably the topic, a publisher refused but also because of the linguistic Form. Because the author had made an effort in your Text, the oral expression of your conversational partner as accurately as possible. In the German Translation a little from the authentic character of the English original is lost, unfortunately, inevitable.

testimony for the experience of millions

now, at last, long after the death of the author – published Text is a time document of the first rank. Only a very few of those ships once Slave to cross the Atlantic had to have left their history for posterity. Their stories bear witness vicariously the experiences of so many. A total of around twelve million people were from the 16. until the 19th century. Century, from Africa to North and South America and deported. Several million died in the slave hunts and the Crossing killed.

The schooner "Clotilda," the Cudjo Lewis and his fellow sufferers 1860 transported, was the last American slave ship that we know of. It sailed in an illegal Mission over the ocean, since 1808 the United States had banned the transatlantic trade in human beings. However, the smugglers tried to evade the law, especially as the slave-hunting in Africa, went a step further.

five and a half years in bondage

Impressive and with amazing memory gift of Lewis stretches out the narrative arc of his childhood experiences to old age. Oluale Kossola was his original African Name, he came from the people of the Yoruba. According to information, he had to after his arrival in the United States five and a half years as a slave to toil, in the service of a plantation owner from Alabama. After the American South had lost the civil war against the North, he was freed in 1865 from slavery.

most of all he would be now, as he describes, immediately to Africa and returned. But both he and the other Liberated only to find that they could not muster the financial resources to do so. So they decided to create their own Africa in the United States. Close to the city of Mobile, they founded Africa town, where she lived on, largely according to their own rules.

Not a classic slave story

"Barracoon" is not a classic slave history, the attempt in detail of the horrors on the plantations, or escape and cruel punishment were reported. Only a few pages of the book trade from the time of the bondage in Alabama. Far more detailed Lewis of his Childhood and youth in Africa and of his later life in America told.

Also when he mentioned the politics here, never, it is always present. Lewis experienced slavery and its abolition, as well as the end of the 19th century. Century at the beginning of the end "Jim Crow Era", in the racial segregation and discrimination legally were written. In his personal experience, the developments of an entire epoch, it bundles most vividly and concretely.

As an uncivilized Wild marginalized and despised

After his liberation Cudjo Lewis found a woman, with her six children, experienced a short family happiness. A clouded, however, because they were exposed to ongoing hostility: "all The time, where the children grow up, rum, chop the Americans on them, and say, the Africans kill people and eat the meat," laments Lewis. "They call my children to be uncivilized, Wild and claim they are related to monkeys."

It wasn't just White, the on the "Africans" looked down, but also Black, who were born and bred in the US. A disturbing experience, for Lewis himself, but also for Hurston, because it spoke to the myth of solidarity "brothers" and "sisters" to resist. And it had been also Black, who had sold their neighbors in Africa to the Whites.

A protective fence around the grave of the daughter of

built His life remained their homeland, Deported to a displaced person. A Stranger in a world that had been exploiting him even after the liberation from slavery and arbitrary was exposed to him. As it was, for example, of a train and unable to work, he saw the rightful compensation, not a dime.

Cudjo Lewis felt Like a little home, shows one Episode after his only daughter had died at the age of 14 years. Officially, the inhabitants of Africa were the town of the Christians, and so the girl was buried in the family tomb in the cemetery of the municipality. At the funeral, her father sang, as he reported in his Inner his old African songs. Even then he believed to have to protect you "you looked so lonely out there all alone – as a little girl, you know, because I built a quick fence around the grave, so that she has protection."

Today, still frighteningly topical

Also his other children and his wife he lost after and after. They died due to police violence, or disease, by accident, or of a broken heart. A cruel fate, but not atypical for many African Americans – and is still woefully out of date. Was it for gas? Tesla's new miracle battery Was supposed to create 1.6 million kilometres of PCP's for nitro? Tesla's new miracle battery is expected to create 1.6 million kilometers

Updated Date: 10 June 2020, 14:26

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