Common Brings Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon’ to TV

By Sameer Rao Nov 27, 2018

Almost a century after she first developed the book, Zora Neale Hurston‘s "Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo,’" was published earlier this year. It tells the true story of Cudjo Lewis, whom Hurston identified as the last known formerly enslaved person to survive the Middle Passage. Now, Deadline reports today (November 27) that rapper, actor and producer Common ("Selma") will turn the book into a limited television series.

Common and Lionsgate reportedly acquired the rights to "Barracoon" as part of an overall deal between the artist and distributor. The book, which languished in obscurity until its publication in May, captures Lewis’ perspectives on his childhood in Africa, the trauma of forced transport across the Atlantic Ocean, his experiences in slavery and his role in creating Africatown in Alabama.