Lionel Richie was incredibly close to his grandmother, yet mystery surrounds the identity of her father because she would never talk about him. Lionel unravels the remarkable life story of his great grandfather, John Louis Brown - tracking his life from slavery to freedom, through the optimism of Reconstruction, and the disillusionment and broken promises of the Jim Crow era, charting almost 100 years of black history.
And in the course of this journey, Lionel's view of his great-grandfather will change. Although he starts off denouncing him as a scoundrel, he is soon celebrating him as a hero of the early civil rights movement before being profoundly moved when he visits the site of his pauper's grave.
Finally, he discovers the remarkable story of John Louis Brown's parentage and the extraordinary circumstances which gave him his start in life.