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A young African American and the son of sharecroppers, Lanier Phillips escapes the violence, racism and segregation of his Georgia home by joining the navy during the Second World War. But tragedy strikes the USS Truxtun one February night off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, and Lanier is the lone black survivor of the terrible shipwreck. When he arrives onshore, the community's kindness and humanity bring him back to health and change his outlook on life. He went on to march for black rights with Martin Luther King and remained forever grateful to the small town of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.