“Life, inexhaustible, goes on. And we do too. Carrying our wounds and our medicines as we go. Ours is an amazing, a spectacular, journey in the Americas. It is so remarkable one can only be thankful for it, bizarre as that may sound. Perhaps our planet is for learning to appreciate the extraordinary wonder of life that surrounds even our suffering, and to say Yes, if through the thickest of tears.”
— Alice Walker, March 2018
I finished Barracoon on Sunday but it has taken me a few days to fully gather myself and my thoughts. I started it the same day that the book arrived, but had to step away from it after reading Alice Walker’s Foreward to the book. You ever had to mentally prepare yourself for something that you were about to read or watch? I did this right before I watched 13th and knew that the same effort was going to be required to get through this book.
The read itself isn’t difficult. The story is less than 200 pages and can easily be finished in one sitting. The difficult part was being able to have the capacity and mindset to digest everything fully. Even as I got deeper into the book, I just had to take a breather. One of the things I love about my mind and an amazing author is the author’s ability to write so vividly that my mind can see the words play out just like a movie, or as if I’m right in the thick of it. And with books of this magnitude, it tears at me. It’s both a gift and a curse to be able to feel everything so deeply.
I won’t give away the details of the book, but when Zora Neale Hurston manages to sit down and record the life of a man abducted from Africa and brought to the Americas as a slave, even after slavery was illegal, using his own dialect, it’s a must-read if you’re looking for something to read this month/weekend.