Past Common Reads
“Long before the word ‘entrepreneur’ became popular, the concept still existed.”
In the late 1950s, Glen Allan, Mississippi was a poor cotton community. For many, it was a time and place where opportunities were limited by social and legal constraints that were beyond their control. It was a time and place where few dared to dream. For most, the work was in the fields where the sun was hot, the days were long and the wages were low. It was an accepted way of life that had been passed down for generations and, from the time young Clifton Taulbert could walk, he too was expected to climb aboard Mr. Walter’s field truck and find his place among his peers. Yet one man made a difference – an unlikely entrepreneur who defied convention and dared to dream. That man was Clifton’s Uncle Cleve.
Based on his own life experience, Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert has teamed up with entrepreneurial thought leader Gary Schoeniger to create Who Owns the Ice House? – a powerful and compelling story that captures the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide. Drawing on the entrepreneurial life lessons he gained from his Uncle Cleve, Who Owns the Ice House? chronicles Taulbert’s journey from his life in the Mississippi Delta at the height of legal segregation to being recognized by Time Magazine as “one of our nation’s most outstanding emerging entrepreneurs.” While Taulbert describes the life-changing influence of his Uncle Cleve, Schoeniger captures the entrepreneurial life lessons, their timeless application and the unlimited opportunities they can provide.
Who Owns The Ice House? delivers an important message, one that reaches into the past to remind us of the timeless and universal principles that can empower anyone to succeed.
According to Clifton L. Taulbert, noted author and entrepreneur businessman, he could have failed had he not encountered community builders and entrepreneurial thinkers early on in his life. Taulbert was born on the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation where he completed his secondary education. Though opportunities were few and barriers were plentiful, Taulbert managed to dream of being successful, not knowing the shape that success would take. Today Taulbert is the President and CEO of the Freemount Corporation (a human capital development company) serving clients nationally and internationally-Fortune 500 Companies, small businesses, federal agencies, professional organizations, community colleges and K-12 leadership. Additionally, entrepreneur Taulbert is the President and CEO of Roots Java Coffee-an African-American owned national coffee brand, importing coffee from Africa. To pass his life lessons along, Taulbert shares his entrepreneurial journey with others as a Thrive15.com mentor.
Following high school graduation and a short banking career in Saint Louis, Taulbert enlisted in the United States Air force. After successfully serving in the 89th Presidential Wing of the United States Air Force in the late 1960s, Taulbert was honorably discharged and continued his college education, graduating from Oral Roberts University and the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. During those years, Taulbert was quietly writing. His first book Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored became a national best seller, a major motion picture and a requested gift for Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison. Eight Habits of the Heart, one of Taulbert’s thirteen books garnered him an invitation by former Supreme Court Justice, Sandra day O’Connor to address members of the court and their invited guests. Taulbert’s literary work ignited the journey that has taken him throughout the world. As a recognized thought leader on the issues of community, Taulbert has lectured at Harvard University Principals Center and the United States Air Force Academy.
Gary Schoeniger, has emerged as an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of entrepreneurial mindset education. As the founder of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Schoeniger has influenced a broad audience from higher education and economic development organizations to government, corporate and non-profit clients worldwide including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and the U.S. State Department. Schoeniger also led the development of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, which has been recognized by the Kauffman Foundation as “redefining entrepreneurship education in classrooms and communities around the world”. With his focus on the entrepreneurial mindset, Schoeniger has presented numerous keynotes, workshops and training programs throughout the US and abroad. Recent engagements include the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio de Janeiro and Moscow, as well as speaking and training programs in Athens, London, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sofia, Santiago, Aberdeen, Nicosia, Zagreb, Tbilisi and Baku. Schoeniger, along with Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert, is also the co-author of Who Owns The Ice House: Eight Life Lessons From An Unlikely Entrepreneur, an international bestseller described as “required reading for humanity”.
When Ebrahim was seven his father shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. From behind bars, his father El-Sayyid Nosair co-masterminded the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. He now dedicates his life to speaking out against terrorism and spreading his message of peace and nonviolence.
Ebrahim traces his remarkable journey to escape his father’s legacy. Crisscrossing the eastern United States from Pittsburgh to Memphis, from a mosque in Jersey City to the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, The Terrorist’s Son is the story of a boy taught dogma and hate – and the man who chose a different path.
Zak says of his father’s incarceration, “The fact that my father went to prison for an unfathomable crime when I was seven just about ruined my life. But it also made my life possible.”
In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.
And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn’t pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!
But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan.
Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.
“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.
Doc Hendley never set out to be a hero. A small-town bartender, Doc loved his Harley, music, and booze. Then he learned about the world’s water crisis, and decided to help by hosting fundraisers. But he wanted to do more and soon found himself traveling to one of the world’s most dangerous hot spots: Darfur, Sudan.
Doc was immediately cast into a crisis zone. The Sudanese government was wiping out entire villages through horrific state-sponsored genocide—and one of the chief weapons was water. By dumping corpses in water sources and shooting up water bladders, Janjaweed terrorists doomed hundreds of thousands of citizens to dehydration, disease, and death.
At just twenty-five years old, Doc was inexperienced, untrained, and in constant danger—but he stepped up to save lives. Alternatively begging international organizations for funding and dodging trigger-happy Janjaweed, Doc began drilling and repairing wells, bringing drinking water to those who desperately needed it. Wine to Water is his story about braving tribal warfare in far-flung regions of the world, and an inspirational tale of how one ordinary person can make a difference.