About the film
Bill Traylor was born into slavery on an Alabama cotton plantation about 12 years before the Civil War ended and worked as a farm laborer for decades until, elderly and homeless, he began to draw. He would then become one of the most celebrated self-taught artists in American history. Jeffrey Wolf’s documentary illuminates Traylor’s remarkable life — which spanned slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration and a short spell in Detroit — and examines the significant legacy of his work, the largest known body of drawn and painted images by an artist born into slavery. Michigan premiere.