Sidney Poitier directs and stars in this all-black western about an ex-Union Army cavalry soldier leading a group of recently-freed slaves to the western frontier in post-Civil War America. Tagging along with Buck are his wife Ruth (Ruby Dee) and a con man disguised as a preacher (Harry Belafonte, in his first onscreen pairing with Poitier). The black homesteaders' progress is seriously impeded by a sadistic racist (Cameron Mitchell) and his band of murderous thugs who resent the slaves' newfound freedom and wish to send them back to a life of servitude and sharecropping in Louisiana. With equal parts drama and comedy--as well as Biblical allusions to the story of Exodus--Buck and his followers must summon all their courage to contend with the racists on their journey to freedom.
After the Civil War, a wagon driver named Buck and his devoted wife meet a con man posing as a preacher and together they guide a group of newly freed slaves out west in search of a homestead. But Louisiana labor recruiters prove menacing en route, riding like Klansmen to hunt down the train and its leader. But Buck and the Preacher join forces with American Indians to fight their common white foe, and eventually claim the promised land.