A Gathering of Old Men

A Gathering of Old Men

Book - 1984
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The murder of a white Cajun farmer named Boutan unleashes a fury of buried hatred and defiance, as Sheriff Mapes tries to indentify the killer and prevent revenge at the hands of a black man. Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man. Poignant, powerful, earthy...a novel of Southern racial confrontation in which a group of elderly black men band together against whites who seek vengeance for the murder of one of their own. A fine novel...there is a denouement that will shock and move readers as much as it does the characters.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1984, c1983.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780394514680
0394514688
9780679738909
Call Number: GAINES
Characteristics: 213 p. ; 22 cm
Subjects: Southern writing.
Louisiana -- Fiction.
Racism -- Fiction.
Farm tenancy -- Fiction.
African American farmers -- Fiction.

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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.

k
kenhagen
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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