"The Brother" (Joe Morton) is an alien and escaped slave on the run from his home planet. After he lands in New York City, he tries to adapt to life on the streets of Harlem. Although the Brother is mute, he does have great abilities at fixing machines, and he gets a job. As the Brother tries to blend in with his new culture, he finds an apartment and gradually makes friends. Meanwhile, he is pursued by two agents from his home world who are intent on returning there with him.