Jackie Robinson Eddings is the first Negro to integrate the local junior high school. When his teacher-still wet behind her ears out of college-introduces group projects, Jackie is paired with Skeet Gundy-the red-neck, class bully repeating the eighth grade for the third time-and Ricky Clemonds-a special-needs student transfer from a small rural school in the Upstate in an assignment to research "The Lowcountry Legend of the Gullah Treasure." The chemistry of the group is strained by racial prejudices, societal biases and integration in the southern coastal town, a known rendezvous location for national civil rights activists. The boys are coached through their research by a visiting PhD candidate on a quest to prove the South Carolina connection to Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee." While caring for Grandpa Gabe-his 96-year old great, great grandfather-Jackie discovers a letter signed by Poe that contains a strange coded message of symbols, letters and numbers which propels the project into deeper discoveries that challenge not only their teamwork but lives. When the southern police chief and treasure-hunting friend get involved, haunting traditions begin to take control. These threads of interred history, ghostly folklore and polyalphabetic ciphers stitch together the long-awaited solution to a Gullah tale, illuminating the true secret of the Gullah treasure.