Here is a pretty good synopsis someone wrote on the film from IMDB:
I thoroughly enjoyed "Nothing But a Man." Unlike other films before it, it shows black men and casts them in lead roles instead of sticking them in white circles. It is an excellent and faithful depiction of problems that blacks faced, such as marital, familial, and social dilemmas. This film also focuses on black masculinity and what being a black man is about, and it highlights the struggle and contrast of being free and easy and not tied down as opposed to being married and struggling for one's dignity. The film itself is great for its neorealistic style. It is like a documentary in many respects. It is black & white, gritty, and has no soundtracks running (save the Motown and the gospel). Unlike the race films of Micheaux and Williams who used this documentary-style depiction to push their messages, Roemer fearlessly shows the brutality and bleakness of African-American life, with an ending reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. I loved this movie. It is honest, non-patronizing, and accurate.
trivia: ivan was in "a patch of blue" and the original movie version of "a raisin in the sun". he also directed the classics "the spook who sat by the door" and "trouble man"