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Dr. Stobaugh's Blog

Growing Up White

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Jacob Stevens, a transplanted southerner who grew up in the Jim Crow South, but now living in the Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands, on his 59th birthday, is invited to attend his 40th high school reunion. Jacob, who married a northerner and adopted three African-American children, realizes that the reunion committee, however, neglected to invite the African-American half of his class. This sparks an avalanche of painful nostalgia as he tries to cope with his own desire to return to the South and attend this reunion. Suddenly, Jacob feels homesick, and guilty for feeling this way—both at the same time. His story is the same as millions of rootless, homeless Americans who grew up in the turbulent last half of the 20th century. Jacob’s final triumph over his past, his realization that love has rewritten his past, as well as changed his future, will encourage all Americans as they move into the 21st Century.


“Clearly Stobaugh knows his material as in his day-to-day life he is a pastor as well as quite a gifted writer.”


—San Francisco Book Review


“Utilizing literary imagery and artful prose, Stobaugh delivers a powerful punch that’ll bring you to tears, make you think, stir up your ire and convict your conscience. Growing Up White will make you weep while changing your worldview and maybe even your life.”

—Jeannie Fulbright, Author & Educator


“The narrative touched me deeply . . . it deals with repulsive issues that most of us have attempted to whitewash. However, much like a rainbow after a cleansing rainstorm, there is a message of hope and of healing that is honest and beautiful. It really is a powerful story.”

—Julie Braswell, Educator

“Stobaugh’s literary metaphors add so much to the central theme that is both powerful and endearing.”

—Alouette Greenidge, Wheaton College Student

Listen to an excerpt of Growing Up White

“Growing up White gifted me with soft memories that expatriate southerners have—rendezvous with suntanned southern boys at soda fountains, and family gatherings in pecan groves. I am also reminded of some memories I would like to forget–stringy barbecued squirrel, for one, and racist comments for another. Yet, I share with Jake, the joy of the journey. And there are days when I close my eyes and yearn again for one more Delta dawn Stobaugh so eloquently describes in this tour de force.”

—Lisa Mormon, Political Analyst, London, UK

“The true value of Growing Up White is that it is written from the point of view of a White person who has had a sort of painful ‘awakening’ to the evils of White power and privilege and is struggling to let go of his ‘father’s world.’ Fortunately, Jake learns that there is something better than the old ways. However, he also comes to realize that his desire to let go of the old world causes him to become a victim of the prejudices and discrimination that Blacks face. ‘Growing Up White’ would be a good supplement for a sociology course that deals with race and ethnic relations.”

—Mary A McGehee, PhD, Arkansas Dept of Health

“Part historical, part theological, part philosophical, part autobiographical but a fully remarkable tale told with interesting reflection and insight.”

—D. C. Washington, Lt. Col., U. S. Army (retired)

“Just as the Mississippi Delta renews its life annually, so do we develop and enrich human relationships under God’s guidance in James Stobaugh’s lyric story ‘Growing Up White.’ On his 59th birthday Jake Stevens realizes that with God’s help he has indeed remade his own world from childhood experiences of inexplicable racism to acceptance and deep love for all souls. This is a story of one man’s journey from the tortures of Southern inhumanity to being born again and renewed in the spirit of love through his four beautiful children, ‘all shades of white and black . . . ripe with promise and hope.’ Stobaugh has a natural gift for language that brings the reader from precise observations of the pesky female cardinal in the morning, and the all-too-vivid remembrances of past gruesome events to the lilt of love from his beloved Yankee wife, Anna. A marvelous, soft, inspired story of growth, fulfillment and reflection by a gifted writer.”

—John Barell, Author, Professor Emeritus, Montclair University

info@forsuchatimeasthis.com - Phone: (814) 479-7710

- Dr. Stobaugh’s material, online courses, and instruction are NCAA compliant. -
- Likewise, his AP courses--syllabi, material, and assessment--are CollegeBoard audited (approved). -