It is 1943, and World War II rages on battlefields across the globe. But in America, another bloody, divisive battle rages as stepped-up wartime production lures legions of poor blacks from the rural South to defense jobs in the North—to a so-called “promised land” of opportunity. The wartime migration has a profound impact, transforming America’s cities into both “arsenals for democracy” and cauldrons of racial conflict.
Set against this conflicted backdrop, two men embark on separate journeys to begin a new chapter in their lives. Roosevelt Turner is a poor black migrant who flees the Jim Crow South to work in Pittsburgh’s bustling steel mills. Jacob Perlman is a Jewish physician forced to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. As each seeks to escape his harrowing past and rebuild his life in a country struggling to fulfill its own promise, their paths unwittingly cross during a violent racial conflict. In an instant, their destinies are reshaped forever.
As Roosevelt and Jacob are thrust into the crucible of the civil rights movement, they courageously join forces in an effort to crush a terrorist hate group and exorcise the ghosts from their pasts.