Janie and Joe head to Eatonville, an all-black town in development. Joe's efforts to buy more land for the town result in his election as as mayor. The two open up a store in the center of the town, and Janie's life seems to finally be improving.
Their relationship grows worse over time, however. Joe becomes controlling and envious. He forbids her from attending events and forces her to wear a headrag to hide her beautiful hear. One day, Janie insults Joe in front of several townspeople. Filled with anger and embarrassment, Joe viciously hits Janie, knocking her down.
Shortly after, Joe falls seriously ill. On his deathbed, Janie releases her frustration and explains how he had mistreated and controlled her throughout their relationship. Before dying, Joe curses Janie in frustration.