Upon his release from jail in New York City, a young black man faces a society in which the odds are stacked against him. He purchases a subway token and is left with a nickel to his name. At a blood bank he receives $6 for a pint of his blood, the only source of income he now has. Having no place to sleep, he goes to a bar and finds a homosexual who takes him home and offers the use of his apartment. The homosexual treats him "just like a wife," but when his benefactor goes to work, the ex-convict starts to gather together the clothes he plans to take when he leaves. Returning to his old neighborhood, he finds a furnished room and a "connection" who will buy the clothes he is about to steal. The next morning, after spending one more night at the homosexual's apartment, he brings a full suitcase to his connection. To rid his mind of his homosexual experience, he picks up a woman in a bar, but while in bed with her he passes out. He awakens to find the woman and his money gone. He looks for jobs but is continually turned down. Though he finally obtains a painting job through a friend, his bigoted employer tricks him out of his day's wages, and he loses the rest of his money in a crap game on the street. He returns to his furnished room alone and angry.
Filmed in New York City. Most of the cast and crew were members of the Fortune Society, an organization of ex-convicts whose aim is to inform the public about prison conditions. The dialogue was improvised by the cast.