The first scene begins with Ruth, mother of the boy Travis, waking him up for school while preparing breakfast and getting everyone else up.
Travis leaves for school and here we learn the family lives with little money because Ruth doesn't give Travis any money for school. However, Walter shows up, Ruth's husband and father to Travis, and gives Travis some money and makes Ruth upset. Her anger fades as more people wake up.
Then Beneatha wakes up, Walter's sister, and starts to get ready for her day. Here we find out she wants to be a doctor. Then Mama wakes up and greets the family. Mama is the head of the house and is mother to Beneatha and Walter.
Then Walter and Beneatha get to arguing, Walter leaves and leaves Ruth upset, which she takes her anger out on Mama saying religion is stupid. Mama didn't like that much and slapped her, Beneatha then leaves.
Mama then talks to Ruth about how scared she is for her kids' well-being, and they talk about work and other matters, then Mama brings out a plant and forebodes a sense of overcoming dark times.
While Mama's turned away, Ruth collapses due to an unknown source, and the scene ends with Mama running over to Ruth yelling her name.