Author Earnest J. Gaines passed away on Tuesday, November 6th at his
home in Louisiana. He was the author of many novels, the most famous being The
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. He won the National Book Critics Award
in 1993 for his novel A Lesson Before Dying.
Gaines’ work portrays the struggles and experiences of African
Americans in the United States from slavery-times to the civil rights era.
Gaines received many awards “including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants
from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was named a MacArthur Fellow — the
coveted ‘genius grant’– in 1993. President Bill Clinton awarded Gaines the
National Humanities Medal in 2000. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded him
the National Medal of Arts” reports NPR. Ernest J. Gaines work is
available for download on BARD.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN DB
A Louisiana ex-slave recounts her life from the end of the Civil War to the mid-twentieth-century civil rights movement. Also includes a speech by Sojourner Truth, a short story by Pearl S. Buck, and related memoirs, poems, and essays. Some strong language. 1971.
A GATHERING OF OLD MEN DB
When a black man kills and shoots a Cajun farmer in rural Louisiana, a
young white woman rallies the other black men in the area to his defense. The
“gathering of old men” face the local sheriff–each with an identical
shotgun, each claiming to be guilty. Meanwhile, across town the youngest
brother of the murdered man argues with his father against organizing a lynch
mob to take revenge against the old men. Some strong language. For junior and senior
high and older readers.
IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE DB
In a small, rural, black community in the deep South, a confrontation
occurs between the Reverend Phillip Martin, an important civil rights leader,
and a callow, young, unkempt stranger, who brutally exposes the minister’s buried
past. Some strong language.
A LESSON BEFORE DYING DB
Bayonne, Louisiana, 1948. A young, naive black man has been sentenced
to death for the murder of a white man–a murder that he did not commit. His
attorney argues that he is too stupid to plan a crime. “Why, I would just
as soon put a hog in the electric chair…” Galled by this defense,
Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, turns to Grant, the plantation schoolteacher,
to teach Jefferson to die like a man. Some strong language and some
descriptions of sex.
THE TRAGEDY OF BRADY SIMS DB
Brady Sims pulls out a gun in a courtroom and shoots his own son, who
has just been convicted of robbery and murder. A cub reporter learns that Sims
had been tasked with keeping the black children of Bayonne, Louisiana, in line
to protect them from the unjust world. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2017.