The African-American Church in Works by Ernest J. Gaines

This lecture attempts to define the role of the Black church in three works by Ernest J. Gaines: A Lesson Before Dying, A Gathering of Old Men, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. The church has traditionally been cast as the pillar of faith for African-American communities. Gaines' fiction challenges this belief in a society where the church does not intervene to combat the inequalities that are widespread in the South. What has the church accomplished in these communities? What has caused these communities to seek self-definition for survival? Dr. Anthony invites the reader to revisit, with Gaines, the role of the church to determine if it is merely a new myth designed to pacify the oppressed.

lectern, lapel/clip-on microphone