"I'm poor, black, I might even be ugly, but dear God, I'm here. I'm here."
It’s 1909 and a young girl who has had to endure terrible sexual abuse from her father, baring him two children in the process, is given to another man as a wife. Despite being freed from her father’s clutches this is extremely painful for her as it means she is separated from her sister to whom she is very close. Her new life is no better than her last as she soon discovers that she is to be treated like a servant by her new husband, a man much older than her and who shows her no love, affection or kindness. Tasked with raising his children (one of which is barely younger than her), maintaining the house and satisfying him sexually, the film follows her life over the course of the next thirty or so years as she and other black female characters have to endure some of the worst of the racism, sexism and poverty that people had to face during those times.