Born Colored: Reflections from Erin Goseer Mitchell

Author writes a new chapter in retirement
Redefining Retirement

Erin Goseer Mitchell retired from Chicago Public Schools in 1994 after a 38-year career as an Image removed. educator. The first year of her retirement she spent watching morning TV shows, lounging around, sipping tea, and looking out her living room window. She found purpose helping a sick friend with her chores and doctors’ visits, but after her friend’s death, Erin found that lounging and watching TV were no longer satisfying.

Shortly after her friend’s passing, Erin signed up for a writing seminar at the Newberry Library and, a few weeks later, she ventured out of her comfort zone and joined a weekly writers’ group. With the group’s help and encouragement, Erin began writing what ended up growing into a book-length manuscript. Her first book, BORN COLORED: Life Before Bloody Sunday, was published in February 2005. It is now in its seventh printing. With the encouragement and support of her readers, Erin’s second book, From Colored to Black: A Bittersweet Journey, was published.

Erin now participates in book festivals and has given numerous book presentations at colleges, universities, businesses, and houses of worship. To learn more about her work, visit

“Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined such an interesting and satisfying second career,” said Erin. “This new career as an author has helped me understand the phrase Retirement Redefined.”

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