Clifton Taulbert

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Clifton Taulbert is an American author and speaker. He is best known for his books Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored and Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing the Values that Build Strong Communities. Taulbert offers courses in Character Education and Building Strong School Communities through Knowledge Delivery Systems, an online resource for educators [1]


Taulbert was born in Glen Allan, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta, in 1945. His mother Mary E. Morgan-Taulbert was just out of high school and could not afford to take care of him alone, so he was raised by his extended family. He graduated from O'Bannon High School in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1963 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Oral Roberts University and a graduate degree from Southern Methodist University. He also spent a few years in the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of sergeant.

Children: Marshall D.Taulbert, Anne K. Taulbert

Siblings: Claiborne Taulbert, Claudette Taulbert-Perry, Clara Taulbert-White, Carolyn Taulbert-Ford, Connie Taulbert-Smith [1]

Clifton L. Taulbert, a former Oklahoma banker is president and founder of the Building Community Institute, a consulting company focused on human capital development and organizational effectiveness. Since the founding of the company, his philosophy has been embraced by such companies as Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Baxter Healthcare, Pacific Coast Gas, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and K-12 and post-secondary academic leadership around the world-from China to the Mississippi Delta.

Chosen by CNN at the turn of the millennium to represent one of the many voices of community, Taulbert, who has served as a guest professor at Harvard University, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and the United States Air Force Academy said he could have failed had it not been for the community of unselfish people who surrounded his life. We should never underestimate the power of our influence on the life of others, according to Taulbert. Taulbert has authored thirteen books, several of which are foundational to his consulting philosophy: Eight Habits of the Heart and Who Owns the Ice House-Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur. Eight Habits has become foundational to his work on leveraging community as an asset in the workplace, and garnered him an invitation to address members of the United States Supreme Court as a personal guest of former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. Who Owns the Ice House is part of a Kauffman Foundation sponsored education initiative to expose the impact of the entrepreneurial mindset at all levels.

Taulbert, a trustee of the University of Tulsa has been recognized international by the Sales and Marketing Academy of Achievement, the Library of Congress, the NAACP, Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow and has been a recipient of the Jewish Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Richard Wright Literary Award. The Building Community Institute is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma,with his wife Barbara Taulbert


  • Nonfiction
    • Who Owns The Ice House? Eight Life Lessons From An Unlikely Entrepreneur (2010)
    • Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored (1989)
    • The Last Train North (1992)
    • Watching Our Crops Come In (1997)
    • Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing the Values that Build Strong Communities (1997)
    • The Journey Home: A Father’s Gift to His Son (2002)
    • When Little Becomes Much (2005)
  • Children's Books
    • Little Cliff and the Porch People (1999)
    • Little Cliff and the First Day of School (2001)
    • Little Cliff and the Cold Place (2002)


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