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The Invitation : A Memoir of Hope Amidst Lessons of Race and Place - Clifton L. Taulbert

The Invitation

A Memoir of Hope Amidst Lessons of Race and Place

By: Clifton L. Taulbert

Paperback | 15 June 2024

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Born in 1945, Clifton L. Taulbert attended school in the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation. Rising above the limitations imposed on him by a segregated South, Taulbert attended college, became a professional success, and wrote more than a dozen books that confront the racial climate of mid-century America, including the Pulitzer-nominated The Last Train North, as well as the award-winning Eight Habits of the Heart. Taulbert's book, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, was adapted into the 1996 film.

Taulbert's The Invitation chronicles the author's later consulting trips to Allendale, South Carolina, each year. At these yearly business meetings, Taulbert's path crossed with the matriarch of Roselawn--a former slave-holding plantation still ensconced in the trappings of the antebellum South. From her, Taulbert--the great-great grandson of an enslaved family--received an unexpected invitation to supper. Although keenly aware of the historical impact of enslavement and prejudice upon his own life and family, he accepted her invitation. During their conversations, Taulbert finds himself in the presence of an aging matriarch who has her own agenda--one that unravels many of the incidents of race and place clearly known to them both. This unexpected meeting of two Southerners on either side of the racial divide and their candid conversations expose the life lessons of each. Their unplanned walk from a fraught Southern past to a future of possibilities illuminates their shared desire for more common ground.

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