It is 1936, and Boy Willie arrives in Pittsburgh from the South in a battered truck loaded with watermelons to sell. He has an opportunity to buy some land down home, but he has to come up with the money right quick. He wants to sell a piano that has great importance to his family, but he shares ownership with his sister Berniece, and the piano sits in her living room. Berniece has already rejected several offers, because the antique piano is covered with beautiful carvings detailing the family’s rise from slavery. Boy Willie argues that the past is past, but Berniece proves to be more formidable than he anticipated.