Cast & Crew
Moments after shots ring out in the foyer of a crowded and noisy Harlem apartment building, the police break up a fight between Lomax, a notorious, hunchbacked thug, and Montoute, a young black immigrant hoping to become an American citizen. To protect Montoute, Pa Wilkins, a civic-minded reformer, hides Montoute's gun from the police. Later, at the Wilkinses, Pa's daughter Ola plans to elope with her boyfriend Gregory, a schoolteacher. Pa disapproves of Greg and prefers that she marry Jim Branton, the son of his old Army buddy, but Ola is not interested in Jim. Although Jim has been involved with Rosalia, a woman who lives in the same apartment building as the Wilkinses, he wants to marry Ola to obtain a trust fund that has been set aside for her future husband. At a community meeting, pie-seller Mercedes suggests that promoter Marshall, the head of the Business League, be forced to resign because he told her to buy useless equipment for her pie shop. After others at the meeting speak up in anger against Marshall, he steps down, but not without vowing revenge. Pa is then nominated to replace him. Hoping that Greg will make friends with Pa, Ola invites him to a surprise birthday party for her father. Her plans backfire, however, when Pa orders Greg to leave and tells him that Ola will marry Jim. This news stuns Rosalia, who hurriedly leaves the party. Later, at a cabaret, Greg tries to persuade Ola to marry him and then head to the South to work for racial equality. Jim walks in on their conversation, and when he repeats his intention to marry Ola himself, Greg punches him. Later, Ola elopes with Greg to the South. Pa is devastated by the news, but Hattie, Rosalia's mother, tells him that although her daughter is pregnant and will not tell her who the father is, she will not abandon her. She then counsels Pa to stand by his daughter. In Pa's first speech as head of the business association, he makes an appeal for racial unity. Marshall, however, decides to exploit Jim's anger at Ola and enlists his help in getting "certain people out of the way." Now that Ola is married, Rosalia believes that Jim will marry her and looks for him at the cabaret. When she overhears him making love to another woman, however, she returns home and, distraught, leaps to her death. Meanwhile, Ola reads in the newspaper that a bomb intended for her father was found in the community meeting hall and, worried about his safety, returns to New York. She and Greg find a note that Rosalia left for Jim and hurry to the meeting hall, where Pa is about to give another speech. Before they arrive, Pa announces that Montoute has become a citizen. Ola hands the note to Jim and then tells Pa what has happened. Because Marshall's attempt to kill Pa with a bomb was foiled, he now instructs Lomax, his henchman, to shoot Pa. The plan nearly succeeds, but Jim, who is ashamed of his behavior, jumps in front of the bullet intended for Pa. Before he dies, Jim begs Pa's forgiveness. Greg and Ola decide to stay in New York and help Pa fight to save the future of their community.
Edna Mae Harris
Irving C. Miller
Although onscreen credits include a copyright statement, it was not registered for copyright.