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.


11 a.m. Sat., April 13
Detroit Historical Museum

Film credits

Year: 2018 
Run time: 1 hour, 15 minutes 
Director: Jeffrey Wolf 
Writer: Fred Barron 
Producers: Jeffrey Wolf, Fred Barron, Jeany Nisenholz-Wolf, Daphne McWilliams, Sam Pollard
Editor: Keith Reamer 
Cinematographer: Henry Adebonojo