Ernest James Gaines was born in 1933 in Louisiana, but as a teenager moved with his family to California during the Great Migration. He found his voice as a fiction writer who dives into the Black experience. Gaines' subjects are men and women from rural communities navigating day-to-day life with the backdrop of racial injustice. His most popular novel is The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, a fictional personal history from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. This is his story.