Cindy is an urban adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. Opening in a rural town in South Carolina, 1943, the plot quickly is centered in the Harlem community of New York City. The main character is a naïve, bright and kind young girl, Cindy (Charlayne Woodard). She has moved north to live with her father (Scoey Mitchell), who has presented himself as working and living affluently.
However, upon her arrival, she learns quickly that not all is what it seems. His new wife, Sarah (Mae Mercer), and her daughters, Olive (Nell Carter) and Venus (Alaina Hall), treat her cruelly, even barring her from attending a lavish ball.