This story follows the tumultuous relationship between Betty, a young Sunday schoolteacher, and Keith, a black Princeton student, as Princeton (both the town and university) go through a transitional period during the civil rights era. The onset of racial violence and recent assasination of John F. Kennedy dampens the excitement for the spring ‘68 commencement as the black townspeople and students grapple with these troubling times and Princeton University attempts to soothe the tension.
The next year ushers in a new era for the campus as female students are officially now admitted to the university. Yet, even with this progress, only ten black students have gained admission and still have to endure the ongoing racial pressures. Keith, a newly admitted student, instantly feels an overwhelming sense of hatred for the campus and finds refuge at the Trinity Church. Here, he forms a relationship with Betty who teaches him the hidden history of Princeton and its racist past. As their relationship progresses, Keith is inspired to become a revolutionary and join the many protests on campus against the Vietnam war, African Aparteid, and internal campus problems. His engagement with these issues comes with significant risks.
During all of this, the sanctuary of Princeton’s Trinity Church is threatened with racist demonstrations. Keith's future at the university is also often put under question because of his demonstrations which tests his relationship with Betty. Betty eventually realizes the gravity of the situation as she witnesses the radicalization of Keith. She leaves for New York to become a teacher and Keitch graduates and moves to California to become a Black Panther.
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