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Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored: Tie In Edition
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Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored: Tie In Edition

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
"A bittersweet story about love, community, and family—and the difference they made in the life of one young man."—The New York Times Book Review.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published 1991)
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Mar 13, 2017 Lilywohlt rated it it was amazing
Personal Response: I really liked this short story. I really liked this short story because, the author kind of explains that African American people matter too. I liked that because it shows that everyone should be treated the same no matter the skin color. I personally like African Americans so I really enjoyed this short story.
Summary: This short story was about and African American. This book was about how Uncle Cleve had grown up, how he got through life, and about what he did growing up a
Jennifer Conrad
Jul 31, 2012 Jennifer Conrad rated it it was ok
I had higher hopes for this book. I picked it up, thinking that I might be able to use pieces of it when I teach The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 in my Children's Lit classes. Unfortunately, I don't think many of my students would stay interested as they read.

The bulk of the book is made up of snippets of Taulbert's memories of growing up in Glen Allen, MS. The book deals more with community, family, and education than it does with segregation in the south. I was expecting stories that explici
Jan 25, 2012 Hayun rated it liked it
Here is a soulful history of men and women who tried to make sense of a world that was frustrating in its change and stillness. Taulbert pays homage to his African American roots that run deep, and reminds the reader that although evil and unnecessary, segregation did create a unique African American culture that was lost after integration. This is a celebration of Americans who worked in the fields and raised children on dreams. With jocular honesty, deserved pride, and subtle brilliance, Taulb ...more
Josephine Burks
Jun 05, 2017 Josephine Burks rated it liked it
Not a bad little book. I enjoyed reading more about the community and sense of comradeship amongst the family of the author. I wasn't expecting such a warm book, which is a good thing as I'm sure the author experienced so many negative occurrences growing up black in the south during Jim Crow and segregation; so it was refreshing and comforting to read stories of a happy childhood despite the era it was set in.
Sarah T.
Sep 22, 2012 Sarah T. rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have ever started and finished in the same day. The writing style is so conversational, it just flows so well. Taulbert is a great story teller!

From his introduction, I thought it was interesting how he wanted to write down his childhood stories to show his children that pre-integration, there were good times and good memories to be had. I thought it was interesting how he said that there were lessons and values that he thinks the African American community is starting
I read this for school. Since I like almost nothing that I read for school (including book reports which I get to pick out for myself), I didn't expect much. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a really interesting look at how life was from the 1950's from someone who actually lived it, instead of a history book only showing the important events. But that's all it was. I feel like the author expected us to find this entertaining as well, and at that, it utterly failed. The event ...more
Deven Black
Apr 05, 2013 Deven Black rated it liked it
Clifton Taulbert aims to give a realistic picture of what life was like for rural Blacks during the late 1940s to mid1960s by telling the story of his childhood and adolescence. While I have no doubt that the book accurately reflects Mr. Taulbert's memories, his writing is so tedious that I was ultimately disappointed and disinterested. Whether describing the hard job of picking cotton or the excitement of a traveling minstrel show, the language has the same languid and moderate tone.
May 26, 2009 Cheri rated it really liked it
Sweet telling of a "colored" boy's childhood growing up in a small Southern town surrounded by family, community & love. The reality of racial segregation is woven into warm tales of the simple pleasures & life lessons gleamed from his hard working, mostly unschooled neighbors in rural Glen Allen, Mississippi. A short, poignant read brimming with promise.
I picked up this book because of the title. On my birth certificate it states that I am colored. I was not however born in Mississippi, my husband was. He can relate to picking cotton and being in a small town.
Lydia Nixon
Jul 21, 2013 Lydia Nixon rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Having had the chance to meet Clifton Tolbert and have him discuss the book, his writing process, and the stories he included only made me love it more! Knowing that there are actual people associated with his writing gives it a personal element that I love!
Jim Layman
Nov 11, 2015 Jim Layman rated it liked it
This short volume recounts life for a black child in rural Mississippi before the integration of the 1960s. The author's reminiscence is poignant but also full of explanatory gaps. Still a worthwhile read
Aug 07, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it
A memoir which surprised me--extremely compelling
Jun 03, 2016 Becca rated it it was amazing
Lea Miller
Mar 05, 2015 Lea Miller rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2016 Doug rated it really liked it
A good short read, and it is always cool when you have actually met the author. There is also a movie.
Jan 22, 2008 Deanna rated it liked it
This book is about Glen Allen, Mississippi...the town that my mom's father is from. One of my family even appears in there! :o)
Jan 09, 2015 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
Great book, I could really visualize each character in this book as someone in my family. It was real to me.
This was our book club selection -- it was an interesting memoir about growing up in the black community of a small Mississippi town in the 1950's.
Jan 29, 2011 Tucker rated it liked it
A sweet little memoir of boyhood told in vignettes. Paints a vivid picture of a small-town agricultural community, focusing on interracial relations.
Jan 11, 2009 Maverick rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, movies
It is a quick read that many readers will enjoy. This is a nice story which shows the African American culture through the eyes of child.
sroussell-joseph rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2017
Katrinia17 rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2012
Faith rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2011
Sonia Triplett
Sonia Triplett rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2011
Thierry Wasserman
Thierry Wasserman rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2011
Sabra rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2013
Ember August
Ember August rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2014
David rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2011
Judy rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2015
O. Poole
O. Poole rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2016
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