Dr. Copeland is an aging black doctor who was educated in the North and then returned home to the South to uplift the black community. Dr. Copeland has four estranged adult children: Portia, Karl Marx/Buddy, Hamilton, and Willie. His suffocating dreams for his own children drove his wife Daisy to leave with their four young children. Eight years after that Daisy died and his children were old enough to live on their own. He never speaks in the slang that his daughter Portia and his son Willie use and he is prone to long winded Marxist speeches. He often feels uncontrollable anger and alienated from his own family and the black community at large. He is deeply touched by John Singer's small act of lighting his cigarette because he doesn't trust white people.