Notes from Barracoon

Also known as:
Reading Note Convention

This is the convention being followed for all reading notes exported after January 31, 2023 (and some previous exports):

KOReader/Exported Kindle Meaning
Lighten/Normal Yellow Quotables, concepts, and general ideas.
Underline Orange Further thought is required on this for clarity.
Highlighted/Bold Blue Something strikingly novel/Deeply moving/Highly thought-provoking.
Strikeout Pink In discord with this opinion.


By Zora Neale Hurston

Foreword: Those Who Love Us Never Leave Us Alone with Our Grief: Reading Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Alice Walker

Page 10 @ January 30, 2019

How the whites simply treated their “slaves” like pieces of machinery. But machinery that could be whipped if it didn’t produce enough. Fast enough. Machinery that could be mutilated, raped, killed, if the desire arose. Machinery that could be cheated, cheerfully, without a trace of guilt.


Page 17 @ February 1, 2019

Mules and Men

To read.


Page 43 @ February 2, 2019

So dey wrap de cord around his neck and around de neck of de dead man. Dey wrap de cord around his body an’ around de body of de dead man. Dey wrap his arm an’ de dead man’s arm wid de same cord. His leg is wrapped as one wid de leg of de man he done killed. So dey leave him dere. His nose is tied to de nose of de dead man. His lips touch the lips of de corpse. So dey leave him.

Very interesting!

Page 45 @ February 2, 2019

We say in de Affica soil, ‘We live wid you while you alive, how come we cain live wid you after you die?’ So, you know dey bury a man in his house.


Page 62 @ February 2, 2019

De work very hard for us to do ’cause we ain’ used to workee lak dat. But we doan grieve ’bout dat. We cry ’cause we slave. In night time we cry, we say we born and raised to be free people and now we slave. We doan know why we be bring ’way from our country to work lak dis. It strange to us.

It took Europeans hundreds of years to understand this simple truth. Civilized, eh?

Page 67 @ February 3, 2019

When he doan hear de axe on de tree no mo’ he look up and see Cudjo standin’ dere. Derefo’ he astee me, ‘Cudjo, what make you so sad?’ “I tell him, ‘Cap’n Tim, I grieve for my home.’ “He say, ‘But you got a good home, Cudjo.’ “Cudjo say, ‘Cap’n Tim, how big is de Mobile?’ “‘I doan know, Cudjo, I’ve never been to de four corners.’ “‘Well, if you give Cudjo all de Mobile, dat railroad, and all de banks, Cudjo doan want it ’cause it ain’ home. Cap’n Tim, you brought us from our country where we had lan’. You made us slave. Now dey make us free but we ain’ got no country and we ain’ got no lan’! Why doan you give us piece dis land so we kin buildee ourself a home?’

Page 70 @ February 3, 2019

“Derefo’, you unnerstand me, after me and my wife ’gree ’tween ourselves, we seekee religion and got converted. Den in de church dey tell us dat ain’ right. We got to marry by license. In de Afficky soil, you unnerstand me, we ain’ got no license. De man and de woman dey ’gree ’tween deyselves, den dey married and live together. We doan know nothin’ ’bout dey have license over here in dis place. So den we gittee married by de license, but I doan love my wife no mo’ wid de license than I love her befo’ de license. She a good woman and I love her all de time.

Page 84 @ February 3, 2019

I am sure that he does not fear death. In spite of his long Christian fellowship, he is too deeply a pagan to fear death.