Slaves to History

Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo

Tom Feelings once said, "When I am asked what kind of work I do, my answer is that I am a storyteller, in picture form, who tries to reflect and interpret the lives and experiences of the people that gave me life. When I am asked who I am, I say, I am an African who was born in America. Both answers connect me specifically with my past and present ..."

Though the artist and distinguished illustrator of children's books died in 2003, his ideas and creativity live on through his images — from earlier works of neighborhood children at play, to more recent studies of the slave trade via black-and-white drawings like those on display at the Florida Holocaust Museum. Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo features works by Feelings that focus on the 300 years of slave trade between Africa and the Americas with a blend of abstraction and realism. Like most of FHM's exhibits, Middle Passage is yet another way for the museum to educate the public about the dignity of human life, while offering a tribute to the survival of the human spirit.

Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo is on display through April 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun, 55 Fifth St. S., St. Petersburg, $8 general admission, 727-820-0100,

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