In this short film, we meet five African American women who are acclaimed quilters and freedom-fighters. Set in the small rural community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama—40 miles south of Selma—the community of women share their cultural and family heritage of quilting. As they explore their own stories, perspectives of love, religion, and the fight for civil rights, they explain the tradition of quilting that brought them together.
Gee’s Bend is home to around 700 inhabitants, most of whom are descendants of slaves who worked for generations in the fields of the local Pettway plantation. The art of quiltmaking has been practiced and passed down through generations of community and family by the women of Gee's Bend since the mid-nineteenth century. Gee's Bend quilts are bold, unique, and represent rich elements in the history of African American art. While I Yet Live documents the everyday lives of the women in this rural community and their expressions of grief, wisdom, joy, and love.