At the age of 72, longtime South Shore resident Michael O. Ewing has published his first book, “One That Got Away: Unchained by Destiny.” The autobiography tells the story of Ewing’s upbringing on the near West Side of Chicago from early childhood to adulthood, including his family’s travels during the Great Migration and hardships faced during the Jim Crow era. Eventually, he succeeded in becoming the “one that got away,” going from the projects to becoming a first-generation university graduate and avoiding the incarceration and drug use of others around him.
About The Author
Michael O. Ewing was born in a family who on both sides migrated North during the Great Migration. Each side of the family experiences the trauma and hardship of navigating Jim Crow.
Those traumas played out in health, physical and mental, and social leading to IV drug use, incarceration, and death. Reared in Chicago, Illinois, and educated through the Chicago Public School system. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, with a Bachelor's degree in Education. He is also a Baritone Saxophone player and leader of multiple Big Bands performing throughout Chicago.
Ewing currently resides in Chicago with his wife Valerie J. Ewing; both retired with eleven grandchildren from five children. They have always written a birthday letter—and he realized there were important family histories shared in those letters that were little known to relatives, including stories of hardship.
“I think the people would like to have known that you are a pro musician who has played in concert halls with the big-timers; a fascinating read. I just thought that maybe you had a book two in mind!”
- M. Hudson.
“This book needs to become a movie—what a great feeling. Thank you so much for creating this work of art. Good story. I also posted on social media, and some friends have already purchased; a few more want autographs.”
- V. Rinata.
“Your book is terrific. I’m excited about how you put your life together in the book. You don’t want to put the book down.”
- P. Allen
“Congratulations! For the past year, your book has been one of the highest-performing books that we have worked with. We want to put up this graphic on our website to recognize you!”
- Jerry J.
“Hi Michael, I’m learning so much from your memoir. Your book is timely; I will send a copy of your book to Individuals who might assist you in moving ahead—your resilience matters”.
- D. Cross
“I enjoyed it, I would have loved for it to be longer, but I guess it’s better to leave a reader wanting more versus the opposite.”
- A Abdullah