Workers World Party remembers Minnie Bruce Pratt

Minnie Bruce Pratt was already a renowned lesbian poet, author and anti-racist activist even before she joined Workers World Party over 20 years ago. She became a managing editor of Workers World/Mundo Obrero newspaper following the death of her longtime partner and spouse, Leslie Feinberg, in 2014.

Minnie Bruce Pratt protesting the KKK, 1982.

Minnie Bruce and I became political kindred spirits, working together as managing editors and on the education committee. We were both born in segregated Alabama—​she in Selma and me in Tuscaloosa, she being white and me being African American. Although our experiences growing up were different as night and day, our hatred of white supremacy and our joining the Party as a vehicle to fight it, brought us even closer.

In 2016, when I was the WWP presidential candidate, Minnie Bruce organized a dynamic meeting of young people in the town where she was living, Syracuse, New York, for me to speak on our program of revolutionary struggle. The next day as we drove to Rochester for another meeting, we talked about taking a trip together to Seneca Falls, New York, where the feminist movement arose in the 1800s and also to the Adirondacks to visit the gravesite of abolitionist John Brown.

Since Minnie Bruce died on July 2, I feel painful regret that we never took that trip together to deepen our camaraderie. I am grateful that Martha Grevatt and I were able to visit her in hospice care on June 23.
I will miss everything Southern about her—​her voice, her warmth, her personal and political sensitivity and most of all, her lifetime commitment to the abolishment of the most horrific scourge known to humankind—​capitalism. Minnie Bruce Pratt, your legacy will live on now and for future generations of revolutionaries until a better world is truly in birth.

Go to minniebrucepratt.net.

Monica Moorehead


Here are more remembrances of Minnie Bruce Pratt:

We are forever grateful to our dear friend and comrade, Minnie Bruce Pratt, for her profound interventions and contributions to workers’ struggles in our region.

Two of our fondest memories of Minnie Bruce include her August 2015 visit to Boston in support of our comrades and leaders of United Steelworkers Local 8751—​the Boston school bus drivers’ union—​who had been fired by the racist, union-busting Veolia/Transdev corporation. Her trips to the bus yards and interview with Local 8751 leader Georgia Scott, who was from Minnie Bruce’s home state of Alabama, will never be forgotten by the workers. (tinyurl.com/4cjb8fu8)

Her memory, life’s work and sensuous, fierce poetry will inspire generations at the Sexual Minorities Archive in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where on July 7, 2017, Minnie Bruce presided over the grand opening and dedication of the Leslie Feinberg book collection in the Sylvia Rivera room. (workers.org/2017/06/31638/)

Live like Minnie Bruce Pratt!

Boston branch of WWP


I knew Minnie Bruce best from working with her on the WWP education committee starting in 2018. She had brilliant skills from editing and being a college professor. We persevered in developing 12 classes, based on topics that most represent our Party’s politics, that included once a month classes for candidates joining the party. However, my deep hearted connection to Minnie Bruce evolved from experiencing her as a mentor.

She was there for me through many calls, me sobbing, trying to make sense of seemingly insurmountable challenges with new candidates. Minnie Bruce always offered a levelheaded perspective. She had deep rooted politics from her background in the women’s and LGBTQ2S+ communities, her time with Leslie, experience in the party and perhaps from being a mother who lost her children because she had the courage to come out early as a lesbian in the South.

Lyn Neeley
Portland WW branch


One of my most favorite memories was when Minnie Bruce and I went to Durham, North Carolina, for Pride Week in September 2018. We marched in the Workers World contingent in the parade and shared moments speaking at different events there. Some of them were sponsored by WWP. She was so influential in my life that it would not be the same without having known one of the most profound lesbian revolutionaries who touched so many lives–and we carry on some of those every day. Minnie Bruce Pratt, ¡presente! Build A Workers World!

Renée Imperato
LGBTQIA+ caucus of WWP


Dear Minnie Bruce, I want to thank you for your consistent, loving embrace and inclusion of all oppressed people globally. You were a teacher both in a classroom and as an editor of Workers World newspaper, well known for your fierce love and your gut hatred of racism and bigotry. I’m especially thinking about what isn’t noticed–your selfless ability to work with young and older comrades on hundreds of their articles.

Along with your own substantial body of work, every word beautifully crafted, you helped hundreds of comrades and activists shape their thoughts. You didn’t just quickly edit articles and move on to the next task. You found time to call or connect back and explain changes, suggest preferable formulations or a better opening. I treasured the personal Minnie Bruce touch.

I’m remembering with tears and a smile your and Leslie’s visits to my little Jersey City garden to watch the fireflies. We shared our love of Jersey City at a time when it was still gritty, industrial and low-rent.
So many late nights of PATH train rides home. You both loved your fourth-floor walkup–a railroad apartment with skyline views from every window. We tested coffee shops and listened to Leslie’s antenna, measuring what was safe space.

We traded plant cuttings. A favorite was the Dottie plant (named for WWP founder, Dorothy Ballan) because it confirmed that life continues and contributions take new roots. All that you gave to the struggle for a new world doesn’t end with you. Those little roots proliferate in new soil. Thank you Minnie Bruce!

Sara Flounders
WW contributing editor


While we crossed paths over all our years in Workers World, becoming one of the paper’s managing editors offered me the wonderful opportunity to work closely with Minnie Bruce. When I first started as a managing editor four years ago, she was my mentor, carefully guiding me through the complicated process, reassuring me I could be up to the task.

She was always gracious in staff meetings, but perhaps my fondest memories were when just managing editors would meet at the end of each session, and Minnie Bruce would say, “Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.” We eventually learned this was from a jump blues song, played by Louis Jordan and his band, clearly a link to her Southern upbringing. She is already sorely missed by the editorial staff.

Betsey Piette
Philadelphia WW branch


I met Minnie Bruce when she started dating Leslie Feinberg. I had read her poetry and really appreciated her bold anti-racist positions. When Minnie Bruce and Leslie got together, I was so happy to see the blending of communism and feminism in a couple so much in love.

From Minnie Bruce I learned about the radical art movement which developed during the Great Depression. We were at a pre-COVID-19 WWP party conference and began discussing art within bourgeois society.

During the depression, there was a section of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) which employed artists of all creative fields. It was quite a radical mix. Many of the murals painted in the 1930s still exist today in post offices, government buildings and other public spaces.

After WWII, the hammer of anti-communism fell on all areas of public life. No longer was art depicting working people promoted. The bourgeoisie wanted people to see only empty random visions, not anything even remotely suggesting fightback and the innate dignity of workers and oppressed people.

No area of life is untouched by the class in power. This is what I learned from Minnie Bruce Pratt.

Susan Schnur
Cleveland WW branch


After discussing articles I had written for the paper, we began tentatively talking about our huge losses–Minnie Bruce of Leslie, her long-time partner and me of my spouse Che of 33 years. It was like a hand reaching across the telephone line. But it was a soft voice filled with tears, and colored with a touch of the South. I was awed by the amount of pain she was in. She missed Leslie badly. I think we were both stunned by our newly emerged grief.
Empathy is a powerful human emotion. Minnie Bruce’s for me was a soothing balm.

Phebe Eckfeldt
Women and Gender Oppressed Caucus of WWP


I first met Minnie Bruce Pratt at a March 2015 WWP memorial for Minnie Bruce’s partner Leslie Feinberg, when I spoke, honoring Leslie’s magnificent record of solidarity with disabled people. I reminiscenced about how Leslie, after noticing my neurodivergent difficulties with maintaining my personal appearance, instead of making fun of me, offered to give me free haircuts.

When I conceived my idea which Leslie Feinberg’s writings had first suggested to me about writing about the rainbow of disabled oppression, Minnie Bruce became my writing coach and adviser. She also arranged a meeting of the WWP Educational Committee with the WWP Disability Justice and Rights Caucus, to discuss developing the curriculum for a candidates’ and seasoned comrades’ class on disabled oppression, which the DJRC now hopes to launch very soon.

Edward Yudelovich
New York WW branch


I had the chance to work with Minnie Bruce on many occasions. She was always cheerful, but always vigilant during demonstrations. When I had articles to write regarding LGBTQ2S+ issues, she was always ready to smooth out the article, always being sensitive to my feelings. I stayed with her and Leslie a few times and was always welcomed. A very dynamic revolutionary has passed, leaving a legacy of struggle for us to follow.

Marge Maloney
Buffalo WW branch


Minnie Bruce Pratt supporting union drive at Amazon in Alabama, 2021.

Minnie Bruce and I worked closely during the 2018 education worker walkout in West Virginia. It was a tough time when material challenges arose. There were “left” forces on the ground, such as the anti-union Socialist Equality Party and Industrial Workers of the World, who were trashing the teachers’ unions.

As an educator and experienced communist, Minnie Bruce provided a lot of advice in dealing with other groups, as well as disgruntled members, when they felt the unions “sold them out.” She also edited most of the articles I wrote about the education worker walkouts in both 2018 and 2019.

Minnie Bruce always enjoyed meaningful conversations and she always encouraged me to write for the paper. It was an honor to have known her, because I knew of her prior to joining the Party. I met her life partner Leslie Feinberg at an Anti-Racist Action-sponsored event long before I joined the Party. I was fortunate to have shared that story with her. She had an impact on so many people and she will be missed.

Jeremy Radabaugh
a.k.a. Otis Grotewohl
WW contributing editor


Minnie Bruce is missed deeply by everyone in Workers World Party, especially those of us who put out this newspaper every week. We miss her hard work, her steadfast reliability, her skills, her insights and so much more.
She did so much to help me become a managing editor. Sometimes I got stuck and sometimes I just needed a second opinion.

We also miss Minnie Bruce in the WWP labor fraction. She took copious notes of our calls, but more than that we miss her voice.

Thank you, Comrade Minnie Bruce Pratt!

Martha Grevatt
Cleveland branch


Dear Ben Weaver and Ransom Weaver,

My name is John Catalinotto, and have been one of the managing editors of Workers World newspaper since 1982, so you know that I had the good fortune of working closely with your mother, Minnie Bruce, for the last nine years.
I know it must be excruciating for you two to lose her and I wanted to send you and her grandchildren and all her family my condolences.

You’ve probably heard that Minnie Bruce was not only a talented and effective communist organizer, writer and editor, but her presence on any party committee made work flow smoothly, with humor and with love, which one felt despite the limitations of Zoom and phone meetings. She merged Alabama hospitality with her understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of her fellow humans to make everyone feel valuable.

I thank her for doing the same for me at monthly phone conversations during the past year, as we discussed the challenges of presenting class struggle politics in novels and poems. Minnie Bruce contributed to literature and to humanity, and helped all she worked with grow.

John Catalinotto
New York WW branch


Articles by Minnie Bruce Pratt on this site.

Monica Moorehead

Monica.Moorehead@workers.org

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Monica Moorehead

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