In the book spotlight: Clifton Taulbert


Issue: "Army of compassion," April 5, 2003

Clifton Taulbert's memoir of growing up during the 1940s and '50s, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, is a wonderful celebration of his loving black family. "I wrote about the strength of our daily living, the people who loved me, took care of me, and built a world for me," Mr. Taulbert told WORLD. The book sold well and in 1996 became the basis for an excellent movie by the same name. Now, in his series of children's books about young Clifford, Mr. Taulbert brings that sense of warmth to young readers who will also enjoy E.B. Lewis's vivid watercolor illustrations.

Mr. Taulbert wrote two follow-up books, The Last Train North (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) and Watching the Crops Come In, recollections of the early civil-rights movement. Mr. Taulbert's Mississippi childhood also provided the life lessons that he summarizes in Eight Habits of the Heart: The Timeless Values that Build Strong Communities Within Our Homes and Our Lives, and in curriculum materials that his organization, The Building Community Institute, provides for schools.

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