Rapper turned actor Common has reportedly acquired the rights to Barrac00n, Zora Neale Hurston’s novel based on the story of the Clotilda, the last ship to bring slaves to the United States. Common’s production company, Freedom Road Productions, in partnership with Lionsgate will produce what is being billed as a “limited television event series.” It is unclear if Common will appear in the production, but he certainly has the acting chops after his acclaimed performance as freed slave Elam Ferguson in the Hell on Wheels television series. Attempts to contact Common were unsuccessful. The story told in Barrac00n was based largely on the life of Kazoola, or Cudjo Lewis, the last survivor of the 110 Africans captured and sold into slavery in 1858. Hurston interviewed and filmed Lewis shortly before he died in 1935 at age 94. Her footage of Lewis is the only film footage ever captured of someone who had been a slave in America. Lewis was one of the founders of Africatown, a community in Mobile, Alabama, where most of the slaves brought aboard the Clotilda settled after they were freed at the end of the Civil War. Many of their descendants still live in Africatown today. Lewis recounted the story of the Clotilda to Hurston, whose novel based on the account was published for the first time this year. Hurston refused to alter the dialogue or subject matter in her original manuscript and was unable to find a publisher. The novel sat for 50 years in the archives at Howard University. I have been told by historians and several people in the publishing industry that Hurston’s descendants tried to have the book published several years ago but couldn’t come to financial terms with a publishing house. That apparently changed after efforts by AL.com to locate the Clotilda in 2017 made international news and brought the story of the Clotilda to the nation’s attention.