These lessons and stories of truths take root in Eli, and as he grows into a young adult, he begins to place his thoughts onto paper in the form of controversial poems and creative writings. Many tales given him by Mama Bee of having slave ancestry, including one from whom his own name, Eli, was derived from causes our main character to ponder deeply, so deep in fact that while cleaning the attic of his great-grandmother Glenda's home, he comes across photos from the distant past.
Unfortunately, the rickety old stool that he sat upon gave way, and Eli suffered a fall through the floor and onto the glass kitchen table below. When Eli awoke from unconsciousness, he finds himself in the eighteen hundreds being helped to a shack belonging to his Mama Bee's great-grandparents, Eli Sr. and his common-law wife, Burnice.
And now our journey begins.