Cover of From Colored to Black
From Colored to Black
A Bittersweet Journey
Erin Goseer Mitchell

With perceptive insight, Erin Goseer Mitchell continues to define race, class and family struggle. Informal, yet passionate,her writing remains thought provoking and inspiring. From her Introduction:

One Saturday in July 2014, I attended a writers' workshop at National Louis University. One of the requirements for attending the workshop was to submit and present a page of work in progress. Rick Kogan, a senior editor at the Chicago Tribune, was the facilitator of the session. When my turn came, I read a page from an account about my first year in Chicago after I left Fitzgerald, Georgia. The group found it compelling. Kogan was very encouraging and told me that he wanted more, that this was a part of Chicago history that he had never heard.

With his comments and the prodding I had gotten from my readers, I began the arduous and often painful process of writing about my life in Chicago. The reminiscences that comprise this book are a result of that effort.

About the Author

Erin Goseer Mitchell was born in Selma, AL and grew up there and in Fitzgerald, GA. Her stories reveal the insights of a child and the hard-won wisdom of a segregated Deep South survivor. Erin is a graduate of Spelman College and has a Master of Music degree from Roosevelt University, Chicago. She taught for 38 years and began a writing career after retiring from the Chicago Public Schools. 

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Autora Erin Goseer Mitchell

From Colored to Black: A Bittersweet Journey is the remarkable companion to Born Colored: Life Before Bloody Sunday. Erin Goseer Mitchell, born and raised in the traditions of the deep South, experienced a new life in the north. Settling in Chicago with her husband during the 1950s was daunting. Trouble finding housing, learning to cope with a sprawling transit system, adopting the fast-paced northern lifestyle brought new and sometimes unsettling events into her personal and professional life. She saw history in the making and has written about it with a clear perspective for the rest of us.

Benjamin Polk, 


Erin Mitchell’s book, From Colored to Black: A Bittersweet Journey gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the making of a Powerhouse. Erin’s ability to bare her soul indicates a courage possessed by only a select group of writers. The telling experiences that shaped not only her view of the world, but her place in it, can serve as a guide for all of us.

LaRhonda Crosby-Johnson, 
Educator, Coach, Writer, 
Author of the Jubilee Taylor Series


In From Colored to Black: A Bittersweet Journey, Erin Goseer Mitchell reminisces about her life as a wife, mother and teacher. Sensitively written vignettes deal candidly and perceptively with personal and provocative experiences during a turbulent time in Chicago’s history.

Pamela Bluh, 
Retired, Thurgood Marshall Law Library, 
University of Maryland


In a direct, uncluttered way, Erin Goseer Mitchell recalls her move to semi-accepting Chicago in the 1950s where she taught school, raised her daughters and explored a new world. Mitchell has a moral spine and she judges, but gives praise where it is due. I appreciated her sense of humor and affection and especially liked her account of a bone-simple wedding. This is a great read. Highly recommended.

John T. Wilcox, 
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, 
Binghamton University


In clear, concise prose, Erin Goseer Mitchell describes the challenges she and her family faced when they moved from the deep South to Chicago. This first person narrative reveals an invaluable social history about being a minority in a white world and struggling to maintain dignity.

Miriam W. Palm, 
Librarian, Retired, 
Stanford University



With perceptive insight, Erin Goseer Mitchell continues to define race, class and family struggle in From Colored to Black: A Bittersweet Journey. This companion book to her first powerful memoir, Born Colored: Life Before Bloody Sunday, is essential reading for anyone who wants a candid, first-hand account of 20th century American history. Informal, yet passionate, her writing remains thought provoking and inspiring.

Laurence Carr, 
Author, Pancake Hollow Primer, 
Winner, Next Generation Indie Book Award