In the town of Julia, the residents of the black neighborhood of Gospel Hill,
are being forced out of their homes to make way for a multimillion-dollar golf course
Race relations are strained just as they were thirty years ago when Peter Malcolm
(Samuel Jackson), a black civil rights activist, was assassinated. Dr. Ron Palmer
(Giancarlo Esposito), an influential black community leader who runs the emergency
clinic in Gospel Hill, is supporting the golf course development and helping to push
people off their land.
Peter Malcolm's brother, John Malcolm (Danny Glover), withdrew from the community
and the fight for civil rights after his brother's assassination,
haunted by feelings of hatred for Jack Herrod (Tom Bower). Herrod, the towns bigoted,
ex-sheriff, was responsible for letting the investigation of Peter's murder
dissipate with no one charged.
Meanwhile, Sarah Malcolm (Angela Bassett), Johns wife, takes it upon herself
to battle Dr. Palmer and reveal his profiteering to the whole town,
exposing him for the greedy man he has become.
Jack's sons are Carl Herrod (Adam Baldwin), an iconoclastic lawyer,
who is having an affair with the doctors' wife (Nia Long) and Joel Herrod
(Taylor Kitsch), who has tried to distance himself from his father's name
and reputation. Joel has a struggling landscaping business that flourishes
when he begins to work for Dr. Palmer, but when he falls in love with Rosie
(Julia Stiles), a school teacher helping Sarah fight Palmer,
the conflict of interest becomes too present to ignore.
These characters lives intertwine as Dr. Palmer obtains real estate and pushes
the development to the cities approval; Sarah struggles to get John involved as
she fights to expose the doctor; Joel deals with his fathers increasing animosity;
Jack Herrod, discovering he is terminally ill, has secretly reopened the case
of Peter Malcolm's murder; and John Malcolm begins to realize that the fight for
equality didn't die with his brother, that it continues in every breath the town takes,
and he knows that if Sarah continues to stir the hornets nest that the town
of Julia has become, he will be thrust into the position he shared with his brother
thirty years ago.