Brandon is a popular young man who is striving to better himself and open his own restaurant along with his girlfriend Jerrika. A promotion to line cook in an upscale eatery puts him on the right track, but a devastating personal tragedy and its aftermath threatens to undo everything he's worked so hard for.
Ronnie means well, but he doesn't seem to have the personal strength to extricate himself from a bad situation. Perennially unemployed, he lives with his feisty grandmother Ethel and dreams of getting back with his true love.
Emmett is a sneaker-obsessed teenager who can't seem to keep it in his pants, and who now has an unplanned child to show for it. With the prodding of his strong mother Jada, he does his best to provide for his son.
A good kid from a loving household, Kevin just wants to have fun with his friends and flirt with cute girls. But it's easy to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time on the south side, and in an instant, Kevin finds himself in serious trouble.
Emmett's tough but loving mother is a hard-working eldercare nurse who is not interested in babysitting any more of her surprise grandchildren. One of her patients is Ethel, Ronnie's grandmother.
Jerrika is Brandon's girlfriend from the "right" side of the tracks. She is trying to help Brandon build a future with her in the restaurant they want to open together. She has very little patience for Brandon's old life.
A soft-hearted police officer whose beat is the south side, Detective Cruz is doing his best to try and stem the violence and bloodshed in the neighborhood. But he is impeded on both sides by a police force that thinks he's too soft, and a local populace that wants nothing to do with the cops.
The third member of Kevin's posse, Papa is smart, precocious, funny, and boy does he like to eat. He is full of self-confidence, and his main desires are to get with girls and pursue his diverse interests.
Jake is Kevin's good friend, and he, Kevin and Papa are pretty much inseparable. But Jake's older brother is a leader in a local gang, and Jake is at risk of falling under his influence.
Jake’s older brother Reg may be a drug dealer and gang leader, but Reg looks out for his little bro, for better or worse. But Reg lives a dangerous life, where one wrong move could spell disaster.
Brandon's fragile mother Laverne needs more parenting than she gives. A drinking problem, lack of ambition, and questionable taste in men have kept her down, and a terrible personal tragedy threatens to derail her all together.
Quentin is a neighborhood kingpin elder. He has been gone for a while, but has recently returned to try to re-stake his claim. Although he earns a living illegally, he does seem to maintain a degree of civility and an interest in protecting the families of the neighborhood.
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