A Gathering of Old Men

A Gathering of Old Men

Book - 1992
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Set on a Louisiana sugar cane plantation in the 1970s, the book is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1992, ©1983.
Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed.
ISBN: 9780679738909
Branch Call Number: FIC GAIN
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 21 cm.


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voisjoe1 Apr 10, 2014

Ernest Gaines has roots of five generations of Black rural Louisiana sharecroppers and he has been studying their stories from their oral traditions his whole life. In this novel, he uses a creative narrative style where he allows numerous characters tell their own 80 year life story about the racism that they and their ancestors endured. One must remember, after 250 years of slavery, Black people got what after the Emancipation Proclamation? Absolutely nothing and a lot of negative treatment such as lynching, virtual slavery through sharecrop exploitation, brutality, and 24/7 humiliation and persecution for the next 150 years. Gaines mostly stayed away from dealing with Whites in his novels Catherine Carmier and In My Father’s House, but in this novel he lays it all out. Today’s conservative right-wingers pretend that the only reasons Blacks have huge poverty and unemployment rates is because they are unwed, lazy, and genetically possess low IQ’s. Gaines presents other causes in this novel.

Jul 23, 2012

I have enjoyed reading several of Gaines' books recently. They provide a keen insight into racism from the black point of view. In "A Gathering of Old Men", a group of elderly black gentlemen, beaten down all their lives by systemic racism, rise up and become men in a stirring act of defiance.


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