Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
By Zora Neale Hurston
"When I see de king dead, I try to 'scape from de soldiers. I try to make it to de bush, but all soldiers overtake me beef' I git dere. O Lor', Lor'! When I think 'bout dat time I try not to cry no mo'. My eyes dey stop crying' but de tears runnee down inside me all de time. When de men pull me wit dem I call my mama name. I doan know where she is. I no see none my family. I doan know where day is. I beg de men to let me go findee my folks. De soldiers say hey got no ears for crying'. De king of Dahomey come to hunt slave to sell. So dey tie me in de line wid de rest."
"Kossula was no longer on the porch with me. He was squatting about that fire in Dahomey. His face was twitching in abysmal pain. It was a horror mask. He had forgotten that I was there. He was thinking aloud and gazing into the dead faces in the smoke. His agony was so acute that he became inarticulate. He never noticed my preparation to leave him.
So I slipped away as quietly as possible and left him with his smoke pictures."
"It was on a hot Saturday afternoon that I came to photograph Kossula.
"I'm glad you takee my picture. I want see how I look. Once long time ago somebody come take my picture but they never give me one. You give me one."
I agreed. He went inside to dress for the picture. When he came out I saw that he had put on his best suit but removed his shoes. "I want to look lak I in Affica, 'cause dat where I want to be," he explained.
He also asked to be photographed in the cemetery among the graves of his family."