Common Is Turning Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon’ Into A TV Series


December 5, 2018


Photo credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

It took 87 years for Zora Neale Hurston’s “Barracoon” (originally completed in 1931) to be published and made available to the public. Now, artist, activist and Oscar winning actor, Common, is set to turn Hurston’s account of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade into a television series. 

According to Deadline, Lionsgate and Common’s Freedom Road Productions have acquired the rights to the book, making it the second project under Lionsgate and Freedom Road’s TV deal. 



In “Barracoon,” Hurston interviews 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis, “the last known survivor of the Middle Passage who was brought to America,” reports Deadline. At the time, Hurston was asked to re-write the manuscript in a “language rather than a dialect” that Lewis used to share his story. She refused and the book was never published until earlier this year. 

Kudos to Common for using his platform to help bring more of Zora Neale Hurston’s work and such an important story to life.  

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