Lena Younger (Phylicia Rashad) receives a settlement from her husband's life insurance policy and then must decide what to do with the money. She wants to move out of their apartment into a house in a more genteel neighborhood. Her eldest son, Walter (Sean Combs), aspires to be an entrepreneur. Daughter Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) hopes to go to medical school. Though their aspirations collide, they try to find a way to retain their family's cohesion.