In 1969, newlywed Dorothy Tucker envisions herself living with her husband in quaint Minden, Louisiana, surrounded by their families, raising a family of their own, and becoming part of Minden history. The joy doesn't last long. After the birth of their child, James Lee, Dorothy obtains a divorce from her abusive and philandering husband, Fred. But Fred's parents are t about to lose control of their grandson. When Dorothy loses custody of James Lee through Child Protective Services, she flees to California to start a new life, vowing to reconnect with her son someday. While waitressing and attending college, she meets and marries Jesse Barns, a black airman stationed at LAX. Together, through the haze of racism fueled by their mixed marriage, Dorothy and Jesse raise two children. Twenty-five years later, she receives letter from James Lee, who says he wants to meet with her. The letter reveals James Lee as a racist who has just been released from prison. Dorothy must determine if this man, her firstborn son, will be a positive influence in her family's life, or if his racist attitudes will bring them all down.