The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo by Tom Feelings (1995)

If you have not read and looked at this book, please take the opportunity to do so. If you have, it may be time to hold and read it again. Mr. Feelings portrays and explains these images that captured the experience of the transatlantic slave trade’s Middle Passage as no other artist has. He also tells the story of how he came to be involved and produced such a powerful work. His relating of the time it took, twenty years, to understand his mission seems to be an extremely long period of life, until you realize that some ancestors have been waiting for us to do something for more than five hundred years.

We are honored to have permission from his estate to use his words in our information packet and on the port marker: “If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage.

And once we have done something we can invoke his sentiments again: “But if this part of our history could be told in such a way that those chains of the past, those shackles that physically bound us together against our wills could, in the telling, become spiritual links that willingly bind us together now and into the future – then that painful Middle Passage could become, ironically, a positive connecting line to all of us whether living inside or outside the continent of Africa.”

We don’t have to reinvent anything, just follow the route already created.

If the book is not easily accessible check out images and narrative on http://www.juneteenth.com/middlep.htm

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