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.

The book end

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.