Just released from jail, Blues singer Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton is asked to sign a record deal after a song he recorded months before becomes an unexpected hit. After a year of trials and tribulations, Floyd is ready to right the past year's wrongs and return to Chicago with a new understanding of what's important in his life. Unfortunately his means of righting wrongs are inherently flawed.
The play's recurring theme is the African-American male's fight for his own humanity, self-understanding and self-acceptance in the face of personal and societal ills. The rooster is a recurring symbol of black manhood throughout the play, and provides a violent and shocking foreshadowing effect when Hedley delivers a fiery monologue and ritualistically slaughters one in front of the other characters.