The Invitation by Clifton Taulbert

*In his latest book, The Invitation, Pulitzer-nominated author, Clifton Taulbert thoughtfully shares the far-reaching impact of legal segregation upon his adult journey from the Mississippi Delta to the world-at-large, and his personal grappling with the lingering lessons of race and place.

The public is invited to attend Taulbert’s Los Angeles book signing event for The Invitation on Saturday, May 3rd at 5:00 p.m. at Eso Won Books, located at 4327 Degnan Bl., Los Angeles, CA  90008, (323) 290-1048.

In his ground-breaking first book Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored and the movie, which starred Phylicia Rashad and Richard Roundtree, Taulbert took us into the life of Southern African-Americans during the era of legal segregation.  Within the pages of his book, we discovered the community that built his life in spite of the rigors of legal segregation and the pervasive culture of black servitude.

The Invitation begins in 2000 when Taulbert receives an unexpected invitation to supper in Allendale, South Carolina from Miss Camille—a white Southerner whom he felt to be a retired educator.  She was much more.  Over several years, his past squared off with his present and the future he anticipated as this highly successful writer grappled with the fears of “Little Cliff,” his inside voice who clearly remembered the way it used to be. Shadows from the culture of The Help came alive. In his thirteenth book, Taulbert’s brilliant chronicle of his all-too-familiar experiences comprise an ideal framework for the discussion on race in America we’ve always wanted.

Beth Lieberman, Editor, The Student Rabbi & Publishing House in Los Angeles states:  “Continuing the conversation inspired by The Help, The Invitation stuns with its eloquence.  Clifton Taulbert’s journey shows us clearly and undeniably the effects of slavery’s long reach, as they are felt and experienced today. Yet the author does not stop there.  Taulbert’s examples of hope, faith, and humanity invite us to join him in the work at hand — repair of the American soul.”

Taulbert first captured the attention of the literary word with his very first book, which was a requested book for Nelson Mandela when he visited the United States for the first time.  It also spawned the subsequent 12 books that followed, including the Pulitzer-nominated The Last Train North, as well as his award-winning book Eight Habits of the Heart, which garner him an invitation from former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to address members of the court and their invited guests.


Roz Stevenson
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