Lige, here is a shortened form of the name, Elijah. The author, Mary Othella Burnette, is 89 years old at the time she tells these stories of her kinfolks. She tells them to Lige because he is a cousin she never met. The Black Walnut tree is significant because it stands for land ownership, a distinction often very hard fought by African Americans all over the country and in Black Mountain, North Carolina, fifteen miles east of Asheville, where the author grew up. She has lived away from North Carolina as an adult but has always held dear the stories she heard as a girl and the kinfolks she left back at Black Mountain. This book consists primarily of vignettes of the author’s kinfolks and local people who meant a lot to her. Their stories are remarkable, for example, the story of author’s paternal grandmother who was a midwife, born into slavery, who presided over the author’s birth. There is an appendix that explains terms her family used, and another that recounts superstitions she learned about.
Black Mountain, North Carolina: self-published, 2020. 251 pages with appendices and photos. Trade paperback