So much history was lost, hidden and even deliberately destroyed during and after slavery in America. But Ms. Hurston was able to capture this account before the death of the last survivor.
The descendants of the Africans who were forcibly taken from their homes to the Americas to work as slaves their history was wiped out. The involuntary removal broke up families and made it difficult, next impossible, to trace the genealogy of enslaved Africans back beyond Emancipation, back many centuries as many other Americans are able to do. Which is why something like this is so important. It gives an actual account of a slave ship.
There records were deliberately out or destroyed. Very few were left unharmed. They did it so that there would very few ways of learning about what happened to the Africans once they reached the Americas.
Most Americans of African descendant can only trace their family back as far back as 1865 and that’s a very short time span in the history of genealogy.