Common and Lionsgate will be developing a limited television event series based on the New York Times best-selling novel Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.” The pair has acquired the rights to the recently discovered Zora Neale Hurston written novel, according to Deadline. Common will be producing through his Freedom Road Productions company.
From the author of Their Eyes Were Watching, Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” tells the true story of 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis, one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States in 1927. It is in Plateau, Alabama that Hurston interviews Lewis, who provides a firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In the three months that Hurston spent in Plateau speaking in depth with Lewis, she was able to brilliantly illuminate the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it.
This project will be the second of Lionsgate and Freedom Road’s TV deal. They are already developing Saturday Night Knife and Gun Club, starring and produced by Common.