Whoopi Goldberg is Odessa Carter, a quietly dignified woman, who works as a housekeeper for Miriam Thompson. When Odessa honors the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott by walking an exhausting nine miles to and from work, Miriam offers her a ride. Defying both Miriam's racist husband and the powerful White Citizen's Council, Miriam and Odessa put their lives in danger for civil rights. Their shared experiences draw them closer as a deep respect and lasting friendship forms. Together, in a difficult world of black versus white, they manage to discover a common ground.