Tom Feelings (May 19, 1933 – August 25, 2003) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the School of the Visual Arts, and later lived in Ghana and Guyana. He was a cartoonist, children’s book illustrator, author, teacher, and activist. Through his works, he framed the African-American experience.
Feelings was the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 1972 Caldecott Medal Honor recipient for his book Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book. His Feelings’ children’s book, the one for which he is best known, Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo won a 1996 Coretta Scott King Award. In addition, it won a special commendation at the 1996 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award ceremonies.
Tom was married to children’ book author and educator Muriel Feelings from 1969 to 1974. The two collaborated on two award-winning books Moja Means One and Jambo Means Hello.