A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.

[Sarah Jane enters carrying a serving tray on her head]
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Fetched y'all up a mess 'a crawdads, Miss Lora... fo' you an' yo' friends!
Lora: Well, that's quite a trick, Sarah Jane... where did you learn it?
Sarah Jane: [affected Southern Negro accent] Oh, 'tain't no trick ta' totin', Miss Lora! I learned it from my mammy, an' she learned it from ol' massa, 'fo' she belonged to you...
Annie: How do you tell a child that she was born to be hurt?
Lora: You're aiming high.
Steve: Why not? It doesn't cost anymore. Don't you believe in chasing rainbows?
Lora Meredith: Now, just a moment, young lady! It's only because of my ambition that you've had the best of everything. And that's a solid achievement that any mother can be proud of!
Susie, age 16: [tearfully] And how about a mother's love?
Lora Meredith: LOVE? But you've always had that!
Susie, age 16: Yes, by telephone, by postcard, by magazine interviews... you've given me everything... but yourself!
Lora Meredith: Well, I'm going up and up and up - and nobody's going to pull me down!
Lora Meredith: [to Sarah Jane] You weren't being colored, you were just being childish.
Sarah Jane: I'm someone else. I'm white... white... WHITE!
Sarah Jane: Miss Lora, you don't know what it means to be... different...
Annie: I'd be happy knowin' you're meetin' nice young folk...
Sarah Jane: Busboys! Cooks! Chauffeurs!
[Hmph]
Sarah Jane: Like Hawkins. No thank you; I've seen your "nice young folk".
Annie: I don't wanna fight with you, honey. Not tonight. I don't feel too good. While I get started on the anchovies, will you take this tray in to Miss Lora and her friends?
Sarah Jane: [sarcastic] Why, certainly. Anything at all for Miss Lora and her friends.
Sarah Jane: [to mother Annie] I wouldn't be caught dead in a colored teachers' college!
Steve: Your bones...
Lora Meredith: What about my bones?
Steve: They're perfect. My camera could easily have a love affair with you.
Showgirl: So, honeychile, you had a mammy!
Sarah Jane: Yes. All my life.
Annie: Miss Lora, we just come from a place where... where my color deviled my baby. Now, anything here has gotta be better.

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