Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1854 and spent most of his life sharecropping on that same Alabama plantation.
Like most blacks of his generation,—the first generation of African American citizens,—Traylor was supposed to farm the land without owning it, know his place, and disappear without leaving footprints.
Traylor, however, left a lot more than footprints. At the height of the Great Depression, now in his 80s and too old to farm, he moved to Montgomery to look for work...
...and there—homeless, jobless and alone—Bill Traylor started to draw.
It is the goal of “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts” to continue to put the work of this master artist in the context of his world and to do it before that world completely vanishes.