Growin' Up White

Growin' Up White: A novel.

A white boy named Ricky grows up in a 1950's black neighborhood in Indianapolis amid the tumultuous civil rights early stages.

Growin' Up White is the story of the Stoner family, told from the perspective of middle child Rick Stoner. Set during the start and peak of the American civil rights movement in Indianapolis, the story revolves around Rick's coming-of-age - making friends, experiencing first love, and looking racism in the face - in a mostly black neighborhood.

It is also is the story of the immense impact that Georgey, a fifty-year-old black, quirky housekeeper from the Bahamas, has on a white family.

I started my book, Growin’ Up White - let’s see - fifty nine years ago. The fall of 1958.

My girlfriend couldn’t go to my high school prom because she was black. And I couldn’t go to her high school prom because I was white.

I was so pissed I started a long-since-lost chapter. I finished the book in 2015.

It has taken off, appearing on many best seller lists and in national magazines.

Because of the racial unrest in our nation, this book - and movie - is beyond topical.

Our prom picture

Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t write the book to impact America’s understanding of racial diversity - I wish I had. I wrote the book because a bunch of black folks from around Shriver Avenue in Indianapolis planted a tear in my heart that would not go away.

Now, a Growin' Up White movie

About six months ago I had a small west coast film studio contact me about my book. In a nutshell they offered me a few thousand dollars for the film rights. I told my publisher and my lawyer the “great news”. They weren’t impressed. Apparently film studios do that kind of thing; buying film rights cheaply and in most cases never making a movie. They do it early if it looks like it has potential. Rarely do they make a movie of it. BUT no one else will. It’s called Low-ball Insurance.

The book end

That being said, I need a bigger platform, e.g.; video trailer, pr representation, enticing perks, music clearance, legal assistance, travel allowance and patience. My plan is for 12 months. Donors will get it started, then book sales will keep it going.

As a movie Growin' Up White will expand America's appreciation for diversity, and present a memorable look-back at a time when this country could slow-dance and not be aware of our innocence.

I hope you'll take a minute to read about the exciting Growin' Up White Movie.

Author Dwight Ritter was born and raised in Indianapolis, attended the John Herron Art Institute and graduated from Indiana University. He has spent his career as a writer, graphic designer and lyricist.