The directorial debut of actor Bill Duke, THE KILLING FLOOR is the true story of a black Chicago labor leader whose efforts to help Polish-led labor unions integrate the city's stockyards during WWI were stymied by racial tensions that led to brutal rioting in July 1919. The film was made
for the PBS series "American Playhouse" in 1984 and was released to home video in 1997.
After hearing that war labor shortages mean high-paying jobs for blacks in northern cities, Frank Custer (Damien Leake) leaves his wife, Mattie (Alfre Woodard), and his children in Mississippi to travel to Chicago with his best friend, Thomas Joshua (Ernest Rayford). Frank and Thomas secure ...