April 5, 1968 -- the morning after one of the most catastrophic moments in American history: the assassination of Martin Luther King. The night before, America's inner cities began going up in flames. The night before, there was trouble in Roxbury, Boston's ghetto. Word on the street is that it's about to get worse. A lot worse.
At Boston's City Hall, Mayor Kevin White is trying to figure out what he can do to keep the fragile peace. Reportedly, he's about to cancel that day's biggest gathering -- a long-scheduled James Brown concert at the Boston Garden. Then, a call from one of Boston's most influential R&B DJs to the lone black city councilman points out the danger of that decision. Simply, he says, if the concert is cancelled, Boston might have the biggest uprising since the Boston Tea Party. And so, faced with the grim reality of making the wrong decision, the mayor and his team turn it around. Rather than cancel the show, they ask "Is there something James Brown can do to help?"