THE STORY: Life in the pleasant Southern town of Leucadia has been suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a group of civil rights workers, mostly white and Northern, who seek to improve the lot of the local blacks. Their activities have stirred deep-seated animosities, and threats and intimidations have begun to build—particularly on the part of the Redeemers, a white supremist organization that operates with fascist-like secrecy. Even those who rue this sort of ugly behavior are reluctant to speak out against it for fear of reprisal, but one of the local bluebloods, a young architect named Don Tindall, cannot go on submerging the sense of outrage he feels at such bigotry and unfairness. Through his boyhood friendship with Lloyd Lewis, a black activist, he is drawn into open sympathy for those at the COFO Center—and into increasing disrepute with his lifelong friends and neighbors. As conditions worsen and the battle lines are more closely drawn, Don’s engagement is broken off, his house is burned to the ground, his career is ruined, and when he resolves to give evidence in the triple murder he has witnessed, his very life is forfeited. But his martyrdom becomes an inspiration to those who remain to carry on the fight and the symbol of a better day, when justice, fair play and equality of opportunity will be extended and supported throughout the land.
One of the plays selected and offered by the American Playwrights Theatre, this eloquent and powerful drama constitutes a moving plea against bigotry and prejudice and for the rights and dignity of all men. “A stunning experience. Must be seen.” —Boston (MA) Traveler. “Theatre of substance and vitality. A powerful, absorbing and shaking play.” —Green Bay (WI) Press Gazette. “A play of crushing impact, graphically written and devastatingly real.” —Van Nuys (CA) News.