Clifton Taulbert

Clifton Taulbert, Photo courtesy of Tom Fields

Clifton Taulbert, Photo courtesy of Tom Fields

Major Works

  • The Invitation (2014)  Memoir
  • Shift Your Thinking: Win Where You Stand: Entrepreneurial Thinking – 7 Strategies for Breaking the Code (2014)
  • When Little Became Much: A Journey from Obscurity to Significance (2005)
  • Little Cliff and the Cold Place, 2002
  • Little Cliff’s First Day of School 2001
  • Little Cliff and the Porch People (1999) Earl B. Lewis (Illustrator)
  • Watching Our Crops Come In (1997) Memoir
  • Eight Habits of the Heart: The Timeless Values That Build Strong Communities- Within Our Homes and Our Lives (1997)
  • The Last Train North (1995) Memoir
  • Once Upon a Time… When We Were Colored (1989) Memoir
  • The Era of Segregation (Video)

Clifton Taulbert: A Biography

by Leslie Ervin (SHS)

Clifton Taulbert, Photo courtesy of Tom Fields of Oklahoma

Clifton Taulbert, Photo courtesy of Tom Fields of Oklahoma

When Clifton Taulbert was very young, he lived with his grandmother and grandfather because his young mother could not afford to take care of him. Then, when his grandmother got sick, Taulbert had to leave his grandparents andEight Habits of the Heart live with Ma Ponk, his aunt.  Taulbert’s mother (Mary Taulbert) became a teacher at Peru School in Glen Allan, Mississippi.  Taulbert, at the age of five, was not old enough to start school, but his mother had nowhere else to take him, so he had to go to school with her and sit in the back of the old plantation church which served as the schoolhouse.

Clifton Taulbert graduated valedictorian from O’Bannon High School in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1963.  He received his B.A. in History and Sociology from Oral Roberts University and graduated from the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.  He later obtained an associate degree in health care management from Tulsa Community College.  He also spent a few years in the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of sergeant and served in a classified position with the 89th Presidential Wing of the United States Air Force in Washington D.C.  He is now an internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, entrepreneur, and filmmaker.

Taulbert was the winner of the NAACP’s 27th Image Award for Literary Work: NonFiction for his book When We Were ColoredOnce Upon a Time When we Were ColoredAccording to Beth Pinsher of the Dallas Morning News,  the director of the film made from this book had difficulty getting the movie  released because Once Upon a Time … When We Were Colored is not a political film. It’s a nostalgic coming-of-age tale about a boy learning to deal with the segregation imposed on his small Mississippi town in the years following World War II.  Taulbert’s book The Last Train North was the winner of the Mississippi Library Association Award and is the sequel to the best-selling When We Were Colored.  It traces the author’s journey during the sixties from Mississippi to racially integrated Saint Louis. Taulbert has written three children’s books.  Some of the memorable characters from When We Were Colored and his other popular works appear in this first children’s picture book called Little Cliff and the Porch People.   In the book, Little Cliff’s great-grandmother needs a pound of butter to make her  candied sweet potatoes, and she sends Cliff to get it for her. Taulbert published a second children’s book called Little Cliff’s First Day of School in 2001 and in 2002 Little Cliff and the Cold Place.

Little Cliff and the Porch PeopleIn 2014,  Taulbert published his fourth memoir titled The Invitation.  It is the story of a supper invitation to a former plantation house in Allendale, South Carolina, in which the adult Taulbert confronts his childhood memories and the legacies of slavery and segregation which must still be acknowledged in his grown-up  circumstances.

Photo by Tom Fields of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Photo by Tom Fields of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Taulbert has been banker, a health care administrator, and now is the president of The Freemount Corporation, a marketing company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city in which he also serves on many civic boards.  He has served as a guest professor at Harvard University, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and the United States Air Force Academy.  His philosophy is endorsed by many companies.  He states that ” he could have failed had it not been for the community of unselfish people who surrounded his life.”   In 2003 he was awarded the Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.  He is,  of course,  a bestselling author and speaker.   He lives with his wife Barbara Ann in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and they have two children Marshall Danzy and Anne Kathryn.

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Reviews

A Review of Eight Habits of the Heart

by Leslie Ervin (SHS)

Leslie Ervin, SHS Researcher

Leslie Ervin, SHS Researcher

According to Clifton Taulbert, “Eight Habits of the Heart describeshabits that I sought to describe for the 1995 graduating class of the North Shore County Day School in Chicago, when they invited me to speak at their commencement. This book grew out of that speech and my rich remembering.”

Eight Habits of the Heart is about how a young boy (Clifton Taulbert) and his community built a strong and loving community as they shared joy and sadness together in Mississippi.  In this book Taulbert lived with his grandparents until his grandmother got sick, and he had to leave Glen Allan, Mississippi,  to go to school in Greenville, Mississippi,  and live with Ma Ponk (his aunt).  In both houses,  he experienced the “eight habits of the heart.”

This book is well-written and describes everything in detail, so the reader gets a full understanding. This book is helpful and should be used throughout communities in today’s life. I liked this book and recommend it to everyone. I also think that Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored is a good book to read.

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Related Websites

Clifton Taulbert and Jack White of MSU at the Mississippi Council for the Humanities celebration in Jackson, Mississippi, in September, 1997.

Clifton Taulbert and Jack White of MSU at the Mississippi Council for the Humanities celebration in Jackson, Mississippi, in September, 1997.

 

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Bibliography

  • Taulbert, Clifton. Eight Habits of the Heart. New York:  Penguin Books, USA. Inc., 1997.
  • Taulbert, Clifton. Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored.New York: Penguin Books, USA, Inc., 1989.