Eighteen years after being sold to Tom Moore, Kizzy bears and raises Moore's son George, who grows up to be a charismatic young man with his father's love of cock-fighting and a gift of gab. Kizzy, now hardened but still defiant about who she is and where she came from, is courted by a sweet-talking carriage driver named Sam, who eventually asks her to marry him. Meanwhile young George takes a fancy to a young plantation woman named Mathilde, who also has Kizzy's blessings.
Shortly before Kizzy is to be married, she convinces Sam to take her to the Reynold's plantation where she was born. Once they arrive, they are taken to the grave of her father Toby, who they learn had died 2 years prior, not long after Kizzy's mother Belle was sold away. Asking to spend some time alone at her father's grave, Kizzy recalls her father's teachings about his African homeland and realizes that Sam will never accept her demands to pass on that knowledge to the next generation. Before leaving, she angrily and defiantly crosses out the name "Toby" on her father's grave marker and writes in his African name - "Kunta Kinte". When she and Sam finally return to the Moore plantation later than expected, Sam must face the wrath of his owner Mr. Bennett, while Kizzy clearly sees the handwriting on the wall and reluctantly decides not to marry Sam out of principle.
Meanwhile plantation owner Tom Moore has decided that George is ready to travel with him to the cock fights as the new head trainer, replacing an older man named Mingo who has become George's mentor and is Tom's prized cock trainer. Mingo agrees with the decision, realizing that his best days are behind him. But Mingo decides to boost George's morale by giving George his lucky derby.
With a new lease on life as head trainer to counter-balance his mother's heartbreaking decision not to marry Sam, George decides to push his luck further by asking Mathilde to marry him.