A Gathering of Old Men. Ernest J. Gaines. Ernest J. Gaines Biography. Born Jan. 15, 1933 on River Lake Plantation , Point Coupee Parish , Louisiana Moved to Vallejo, Calif. in 1948 Attended junior college before being drafted into army in 1953-1955
Ernest J. Gaines
Traditional sharecropping declined after mechanization of farm work became economical in the mid-20th century.
As a result, many sharecroppers were forced off the farms, and migrated to the industrialized North to work in factories.
The story opens with Candy, a young woman who owns the land, sending Snookum on a errand to gather up the older men in the area to come to Mathu’s house , each bringing a 12 gauge shot gun and some shells.
Each character has his or her own chapter to tell a part of the story and to claim credit for shooting a white man, long despised for his and his family’s abusive treatment towards the African-Americans in the town.