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Famed Mississippi Author to Deliver Talk on Black Wall Street

Mississippi author and business consultant Clifton Taulbert will discuss the history of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a virtual lecture Wednesday (Oct. 14), hosted by the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi.

Free and open to the public, the noon event is set for Zoom. Meeting information is available on the McLean Institute’s Facebook page.

Author Clifton Taulbert will discuss the history of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a virtual lecture Wednesday hosted by the UM McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. Submitted photo

Taulbert, the first African American to win the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Non-Fiction, has written several books including “The Last Train North,” “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored” and “Who Owns the Icehouse? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.” His books illustrate the power of including community engagement in education and workforce development. 

The author has a direct link to work at the McLean Institute and its Catalyzing Entrepreneurship and Economic Development program because of his experience pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities that he identified in his hometown of Glen Allan, said J.R. Love, project manager for CEED.

“Mr. Taulbert will provide insight into the power of our individual mindset and how that connects to building community,” Love said. “CEED students will have the opportunity to engage and learn from an entrepreneur from Mississippi who shares a similar philosophy of the McLean Institute regarding the power of community and economic development.”

The CEED program uses “Who Owns the Ice House?” as a framework to teach and foster an entrepreneurial mentality.

In the spirit of building partnerships to aid community and economic development, the event is co-hosted by the Mississippi Small Business Development Center and the Mississippi Development Authority.

“Clifton Taulbert is a national treasure and the epitome of the American entrepreneur,” said Joe Donovan, director of the MDA Entrepreneur Center. “We are pleased for the opportunity to partner with the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute and SBDC Mississippi to bring this informative discussion to those interested in learning more about the entrepreneur experience.”

Taulbert, for his part, is pleased to have another opportunity to exchange perspectives with Ole Miss students, faculty, staff and community partners affiliated with the CEED initiative.

“History has always been the instructive teacher – giving us reason to challenge our mental models as defined by Peter Senge through inquiry, dialogue and reflection and to move forward enlightened by truth – but we must go to class,” Taulbert said.

Sharon Nichols, director of the Mississippi Small Business Development Center, said Taulbert’s insights carry great weight amid the current social and business climates. 

“I was honored to visit with Mr. Clifton Taulbert while in Oklahoma recently, where he graciously shared some of his story and his wisdom with me,” Nichols said. “His ability to articulate perspective, mindset and history into the entrepreneurial ethos opened my eyes to the importance of learning, mentors and listening deeply as we move through our days. 

“Although our time together was brief, his perspective on entrepreneurship and life genuinely resonated with me and widened my perspective.”

To learn more about the event or to request assistance related to a disability, call the McLean Institute at 662-915-2052 or email mclean@olemiss.edu.

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