When a stranger, Mann (Ving Rhames), rides into town, he causes a lot of people to take note. Mann is interested in buying property across the street from John Wright's (Jon Voight), store. Wright is one of the only white men in Rosewood and he makes a good living from his store serving the people of his community.
Sylvester (Don Cheadle), is the music teacher of the town and along with Scrappie (Elise Neal), they teach and keep the children in line. But life suddenly takes a turn for the worse when a white woman, who has been sleeping around on her husband, unjustly accuses a black man of raping her. Being too embarrassed to admit that her lover beat her senseless, she instead announces to Sheriff Walker, (Michael Rooker), that a black man came into her home, raped and beat her up. This causes a uproar of built up hatred against the black community by the opposing white men who literally wipe the town off the map, murdering, lynching and burning it down. It will be Mann and John Wright who guide the children and rest of the town to safety but not before more than half the community is killed.
Warner Bros. Pictures International
Director: John Singleton
Writer: Gregory Poirier
Producer: Jon Peters