The story is indebted to Jane Austen’s Persuasion and explores love and loss in a small black community in Brooklyn, New York during the 1900s. At age nineteen, Augusta Mae Johnson fell deeply in love with a handsome young jazz pianist Paul Wentworth. However, the Southern gentleman had neither fortune nor connections to recommend him, and Augusta was persuaded to break off their engagement by her aunt. What happens when they meet again eight years later when Mr Wentworth returns from Paris, a rich and celebrated musician? Set in the 1900s in the closed world of the black bourgeoisie in Brooklyn, New York, Within Our Gates tells the love story of two people set apart by class and money. A study of the lives and loves of three sisters, Within Our Gates is a satire of vanity, pretension and colour prejudice, revealing the clash between the generations as love in the community is hidden, lost, misunderstood, revealed and rekindled in the face of overwhelming odds and adversity.