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Guide to the Artist Tom Feelings: Home

New York City's own, Tom Feelings, artist and activist, made great contributions to the world of art and the fight against racism through his work. Guide by Serena Torres.


This growing guide will assist researchers of the Schomburg Center and beyond who are interested in conducting research on the artist Tom Feelings by providing information on access to artwork, primary sources, books, and audio/visual materials at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture and throughout the New York Public Library. It also provides other useful resources on Feelings outside of the Schomburg Center and New York Public Library.

Tom Feelings

   Bed-Stuy, 1973, Mixed Media


Artist Summary

Tom Feelings (1933-2003), was an African-American artist from Brooklyn, New York. He was an award winning children’s book illustrator, cartoonist, educator and activist. His passion for art and the fight against discrimination of black people was prevalent in his work. Books he authored such as The Middle Passage: White Ships Black Cargo, which he is best known for, show his dedication to bringing awareness of racism and oppression to our youth. Feelings traveled the country and parts of the world to inspire and educate children. In Guyana he developed children's books and encouraged his peers, such as Julian Mayfield (civil rights leader, writer, and actor) to join in the mission there. His artistry, activism and educational mission has contributed to an historical context that is true to African Americans, the African Diaspora, and to African experiences. Those interested in learning more about this artist will discover some of the work he illustrated, the prominent authors and historians he worked with such as Maya Angelou and John Henrik Clarke, and a journey that led him to such an interesting and meaningful life, which included a passion to share the beauty and culture of black people until his death in 2003.