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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Coming of Age
  • Language:English
  • Pages:444
  • eBook ISBN:9780985804428

White Sugar, Brown Sugar

by Michael A. Pyle

Book Image Not Available
The Inland Waterway separates beach-side communities from the mainland on Florida’s east coast. In the 60's, it also segregated races and cultures. White Sugar / Brown Sugar follows two innocent, naive boys as they struggle through racial and cultural diversity. David "Jude" Armstrong has grown up in a safe, upper middle-class white world on the beach side with his parents and sister. The tranquility ends when his alcoholic mother tosses his father out of the house. Roosevelt Harris lives in a Black community on the mainland with his grandparents, his frequently-disappearing, heroin-addicted mother, and other family members. Although both have witnessed the misery of drug abuse, they both follow the same path. Jude’s father becomes a guiding light for both boys. White Sugar, Brown Sugar follows their loss of innocence, submergence to the depths of desperation and eventual emergence as recovering adults. It is a story of deep friendship, hope, strength, and inspiration.
White Sugar, Brown Sugar is a novel set in Daytona Beach, Florida. An upper middle-class white boy from the peninsula, or beach-side, of the Inland Waterway, and a black boy of lesser means, who lives west of the railroad tracks, where Blacks (who were called Negroes and other names at the time) were required to live, become good friends, in spite of the racial separation in effect in the 60’s in the south. David “Jude” Armstrong and Roosevelt Harris meet at a basin of a yacht club. Jude, the white boy, fishes from the docks, where stately boats stand. Roosevelt, the black boy, and his family, fish with cane poles on the wall next to the street. The boys meet various times over the years. The tranquility of Jude Armstrong’s safe, upper middle-class white world ends when his alcoholic mother tosses his father out of the house. Roosevelt Harris’s life has never been tranquil. He has grown up with his grandparents. He has never known a father, and his mother is a heroin addict who disappears for weeks at a time, and is incarcerated frequently. Neither boy understands the racial issues of the time. Both boys fully understand the misery and difficulties that arise from abuse of alcohol and drugs, and both swear they will never end up in that situation, yet they both follow the same path. Eventually, Jude’s father, Lansing Armstrong, an attorney, helps the boys escape criminal prosecution for drug-related crimes, and becomes a guiding light for both boys. Roosevelt grasps sobriety much sooner and easier than Jude does. As the founder of a successful restaurant business, he eventually places both Roosevelt and Jude in control of the business. Jude and Roosevelt struggle to overcome their prior problems, and eventually lead normal and successful lives. White Sugar, Brown Sugar follows their loss of innocence, submergence to the depths of desperation and eventual emergence as recovering adults. It is a story of deep friendship, hope, strength, and inspiration.
About the author
Michael A. Pyle began writing White Sugar, Brown Sugar in the 1970s, wishing to describe racial and drug abuse experiences in Daytona Beach, Florida. He continued writing while earning his Bachelor’s in English at the University of Florida, and studying creative writing. He earned a Master’s in linguistics at UF, while teaching English to foreign students and earning his law degree. He published three TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language) preparation books. In addition to writing, Pyle has been an attorney in Daytona Beach since 1983. He had first-hand knowledge of most of the negative experiences described in the book. At the time, he also found that in his own life, drinking had replaced drugs, and he needed to find a way out. He has re-written it and revised it many, many times over the years. The author wrote the story as a novel. It is completely fiction. The characters are fictitious. While major locations in Daytona Beach, Florida, such as the Halifax River Yacht Club (which has been torn down and rebuilt in recent years), exist, most occurrences, even those at real locations, are fictitious. The author had a deep desire to describe a life that many would find foreign, including how seemingly nice, intelligent people can end up in the grip of drug abuse and addiction, and how race, money and family status have little to do with how one turns out. Pyle found the interplay of racial segregation and prejudice to have different nuances in the drug world. He wanted to describe how one can dig oneself out of the downward spiral of addiction and alcoholism, and to dispel myths and worries about organizations like A.A and N.A. Pyle hopes that he has described what many would never experience and show how one should never give up hope on anyone. Pyle initially released a limited printing of this book under the pen name E. G. Tripp
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