full length drama
6 males and 0 females
Thomas, a black construction worker, has just been asked to fill in for the injured foreman of his crew. He takes the responsibility seriously because he hopes it will help him earn a rare union job for which he's the only black crewman eligible. Meanwhile, Beauty, a white coworker, confides to his friends that he's also up for the union job that Thomas wants but that he didn't do as well as Thomas in the bricklaying competition. Resenting the way Thomas wields his new authority, his black crew members accuse him of selling out. Foos, a disillusioned alcoholic who's about to lose his job for constantly bucking the management, is his most embittered adversary. In an impassioned monologue he describes a run-in with the police during a race riot the night before; mistaking him for another man, the police humiliated and harassed Foos who had only gone out to get some ice cream. When the construction site manager tells Beauty he gets the union job instead of Thomas, Foos' predictions of white favoritism come true. The final confrontation between Beauty and Thomas remains unresolved as both men feel diminished by the implacable, entrenched system of racism that neither of them can continue to abide but must if they are to work.