The movie is set in rural Tennessee. It's about a poor, unloved & unwanted little white girl & her black neighbors, who are older & very loving & nurturing to her. The story is being told by the girl, who is now grown up, to her daughter. Her story begins with her birth on a stormy rainy night during the depression. The girls grandfather is a no good, drunk who takes the baby as soon as she is born and drives off with her & leaves he beside the road in the rain. But to his surprise someone brings the baby back & leaves her on the front porch of their house. The grandfather is very mean to the girl through out her childhood & even beats her & tries to get her involved in prostitution when she is only 14 (to support the family), but the girls refuses & fights back. It is her neighbors who take her in & lovingly care for her, but they must bring her back because she is white & they are black. The old black woman (Della Reese) lets the no good grandfather know that she is the one who brought the girl back when she was a baby & she won't stand for him beating her.