Halifax, North Carolina is where the Cheeks family, Rawl and his wife, Mattie, and their two daughters, makes its home. The year is 1949, and the title refers to signs commonly posted in the region in that era. The Cheeks are visited by Yaveni, a Jewish scholar from Cleveland, who is researching the effects of prejudice on both blacks and Jews, and by Aunt Cora, a mysterious local black woman who wanders around wrapped in a black garment with a dark secret. The trouble begins in earnest when Rawl takes off for Alabama to work as a gravedigger. While he is gone, Mattie is raped by a white man. If she tells Rawl she's pregnant, she knows that he will seek revenge and be killed in the process. So, in order to save his life, she tells him that she willingly participated in an affair. Outraged and devastated, Rawl heads north, and Mattie is left to pick up the pieces of her fractured life and to struggle to find a way to put her family back together. With a woman of her strength and determination, it may just even be possible.
"You will not often find a stage family where both the individual relationships and the overall dynamic are as vibrant and well defined as they are in this one." —NY Times. "Redwood is at his best when creating those strong, emotional currents that never surface but run deep around the peripheries of his characters' life experiences. He achieved that beautifully in The Old Settler. He repeats that accomplishment, again with an intense family unit, in NO NIGGERS, NO JEWS, NO DOGS." —Variety.