Bob Zellner is the son of a Methodist minister, a senior attending all-white Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama in 1961. Seeking information with which to write research papers on race relations, Zellner and four fellow students attend an event held in a Black church to mark the fifth anniversary of the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The event is conducted by Ralph Abernathy and Rosa Parks. When police arrive to arrest them, the white students evade arrest by fleeing through a back door. Dubbed the 'Huntingdon Five' in a newspaper, a cross is burned on the yard outside Zellner's room. Zellner's klansman grandfather warns him not to involve himself in the civil rights movement.
Witnessing a mob attack on the Freedom Riders, Zellner helps Jessica Mitford get to safety. At first a passive supporter of the movement, Zellner goes on to become SNCC's first white field secretary. Facing suspicion at first from black SNCC activists, he proves his bona fides by protesting alongside them, narrowly escaping a lynching while in his home town participating with a march to the county courthouse.
Following the murder of Herbert Lee, Zellner decides to leave the movement and continue his studies in the North. After a violent confrontation with a former friend, who organized his attempted lynching, Zellner firmly changes course and then commits himself to the movement. The film ends with a montage of Zellner's activism during the '60s on civil rights, including tribute to his mentor, the late John Lewis.
Directors Barry Alexander Brown
Starring Lucas Till, Lex Scott Davis, Shamier Anderson