Charles S. Dutton Awards
Born on January 30th, 1951
From Baltimore, Maryland
John Williams (Courtney B. Vance) is an African-American attorney remembering one of his earliest and most personal cases -- in 1957, his own teenage nephew, Charlie (Garland Whitt), was charged with the murder of a white student. Charlie admits he committed the crime, but John believes the police bullied him into confessing. Charlie insists he is guilty, and the outraged public is more than ready to see the boy punished. Still, John believes Charlie is innocent and defends him in court.
Boy Willie (Charles Dutton), a sharecropper, travels to Pittsburgh in the 1930s hoping that his sister, Berniece Charles (Alfre Woodard), will let him have the piano that their enslaved uncle engraved in pre--Civil War Mississippi. Willie hopes to parlay proceeds from selling the instrument into ownership of the land his uncle once worked. But when Berniece has other ideas, it becomes clear that the piano represents very different things to the siblings.