The Middle Passage: White Ships / Black Cargo, Tom Feelings. Dial, 2017, c1995.

You may know Tom Feelings’ The Middle Passage: White Ships / Black Cargo, as it was originally published in 1995. Now there is a newly published edition (released January, 2018), with introductions by Kadir Nelson and Kamili Feelings, and historical note by Dr. Sylviane A. Diouf. The introduction by Tom Feelings from the original 1995 edition remains, where he explains the inspiration and process– more than the art– of creating this wordless book that defies assigning an age level, although it is often recommended for teens. The verso of the title page states the “artwork was rendered using pen and ink and tempra on rice paper,” and “It was printed in tritone using 2 black and one gray, plus a neutral press varnish.” Feelings received the 1996 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for this stunning and powerful series of illustrations. Find a video of this book online, created by Luke Dupuis using cinematic techniques to create a sense of movement, with music (Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, performed by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein) at The Middle Passage.




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