A small bit of chance: Ernest J. Gaines’ first novel, Catherine Carmier, was published in 1964. In that same year, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation was born. 

Four decades later, more than fate brought us together. Fund donors of the Foundation asked us to create the Ernest. J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. In doing so, they wanted to honor Mr. Gaines for the stories he has told the world and to make sure that African-American writers can continue to share the voices that inspire their own stories. 

You can help Baton Rouge Area Foundation underwrite the Gaines Award by donating at the link below 
or by calling donor services at 225-387-6126. Donations to the Gaines fund are tax deductible.