William Martin, an illiterate black share-cropper in the rural South and his wife, Maria, move from their small farm to a large southern city in the midst of the great financial depression to give their two sons the opportunity for a better education. They all face almost insurmountable obstacles to better themselves because of the segregation, discrimination, subjugation, and humiliation imposed by the ruling white supremacy. The younger son, Sam, is confronted with the daily challenge of either accepting his secondary life as a black or rising above his environment and being accepted as a person regardless of the color of his skin. The injustices inflicted upon him and his family breeds a hatred within him. How he handles this hatred determines his personal destiny.