Minnie Bruce Pratt was born in Selma, Alabama in 1946 and raised in nearby Centreville. She received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a doctorate in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An award-winning poet, Pratt has published collections of both poetry and essays. Pratt began teaching and grass roots organizing in North Carolina in the 1970s, and has continued her work as a professor and activist through 2008, the time of this writing. Pratt frequently makes speaking appearances at conferences and universities across the United States. Pratt has two sons, Ransom Weaver and Ben Weaver, from her marriage (1966-1975). As of 2008, Pratt resides with longtime partner, transgender activist and author Leslie Feinberg. The collection dates primarily between 1975 and 2005 and focuses on women's studies, sexual and gender identity, sexuality, and Pratt's fight against racism, sexism, imperialism and other forms of intolerance. A Writing Series comprises drafts, proofs, and galleys related to Pratt's major works through 2003, as well as materials related to shorter pieces by Pratt, reviews, print interviews, materials related to Pratt's editorial work, and personal journals. The series also contains materials pertaining to the outside funding from grants and speaking appearances that Pratt obtained to support herself as a writer. Major works represented are Pratt's poetry and essay collections The Sound of One Fork, We Say We Love Each Other, Crime Against Nature, Rebellion: Essays 1980-1991, S/HE, Walking Back Up Depot Street, and The Dirt She Ate. Other series in the collection are Correspondence; Family, consisting of early correspondence, mementos, photographs, and genealogical information; Activism, files of newspaper clippings, fliers, and correspondence related to Pratt's grass roots organizing; Teaching, Financial, Photographs, Audiovisual Material, Printed Material, and Ephemera. Notable correspondents include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dorothy Allison, Judith Arcana, Elly Bulkin, Chrystos, Holly Hughes, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and Mab Segrest.
The Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers contain materials dating from the 1870s to 2005, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1975 and 2005. Materials in the collection document Pratt's work as a teacher, poet, writer, and activist. Specifically, the collection focuses on women's studies, sexual and gender identity, sexuality, and Pratt's fight against racism, sexism, imperialism and other forms of intolerance. The collection is organized into ten series: Writing, Correspondence, Family, Activism, Teaching, Financial, Photographs, Audiovisual Material, Printed Material, and Ephemera.
The Writing Series comprises drafts, proofs, and galleys related to Pratt's major works through 2003, as well as materials related to shorter pieces by Pratt, reviews, print interviews, materials related to Pratt's editorial work, and personal journals. The series also contains materials pertaining to the outside funding from grants and speaking appearances that Pratt obtained to support herself as a writer. Subseries include: Journals, The Sound of One Fork, We Say We Love Each Other, Crime Against Nature, Rebellion: Essays 1980-1991, S/HE, Walking Back Up Depot Street, The Dirt She Ate, Feminary, Workers World, Other Writings, Grant Applications, Interviews, Gigs, and Manuscripts by Others.
The Correspondence Series contains correspondence Pratt sent and received after 1966, the year of her marriage. Subseries include: Personal Correspondence, Literary Correspondence, and General Correspondence. Notable correspondents include Dorothy Allison, Judith Arcana, Elly Bulkin, Chrystos, Holly Hughes, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and Mab Segrest.
The Family Series contains materials related to Pratt's childhood and relatives, including legal and business papers, genealogical information, correspondence, mementos, and photographs. The bulk of the material dates to the twentieth century, but a few documents and several photographs date to the nineteenth century. Subseries include Brown-Carr Family, Pratt Family, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Ransom Weaver and Ben Weaver, and Leslie Feinberg.
The Activism Series documents Pratt's work as an activist supporting diversity and fighting intolerance. The series comprises newspaper clippings, fliers, correspondence, and logisitical arrangements pertaining to Pratt's organizing, conference attendances, and personal research. Subseries include: Anti-Ku Klux Klan, Fayetteville, National Endowment for the Arts, and Other Issues.
The Teaching Series documents Pratt's work as an educator at various universities, primarily The Union Institute and Hamilton College. The series comprises course syllabi, materials to supplement teaching, seminar evaluations, contracts, general faculty documents, catalogs, newspaper clippings, and correspondence. The series contains correspondence from Mumia Abu-Jamal during his application process to The Union Institute for graduate studies.
The Financial Series consists of tax returns for the years 1981 to 2004 as well as detailed narratives carefully documenting deductions taken by Pratt related to her writing and teaching career.
The Photographs Series contains photographs documenting events and individuals in Minnie Bruce Pratt's life, with descriptions provided by the donor.
The Audiovisual Material Series contains miscellaneous audiovisual material pertaining to Pratt's speaking engagements, interests, and personal life. The series includes speeches and readings given at gigs, interviews, audio correspondence, programs related to lesbian issues, and instructional materials. Materials are organized into subseries depending on format and include Audio Cassettes, Compact Discs, and Videos. Use copies will need to be created before items can be accessed by researchers. Additionally, interviews are restricted unless permission from the interviewee is obtained.
The Printed Material Series contains periodicals, booklets, printed essays, and chapbooks arranged alphabetically by title. Subjects represented include poetry, women's studies, feminism, lesbianism, and the Ku Klux Klan. A number of periodicals were removed from this collection and added to the Women's and LGBT Movements Periodicals Collection. Minnie Bruce Pratt's personal library comprising several hundred books including her own work and anthologies containing her work have been cataloged separately.
The Ephemera Series comprises miscellaneous items collected by Pratt and chiefly contains t-shirts, buttons, and posters related to Pratt's activism, the conferences and demonstrations she attended, and Feminary. Posters also document Pratt's book relases, speaking appearances, seminars, and courses. Additional items include candlesticks given to Pratt upon her marriage to Marvin Weaver, a birthday coffee mug from Leslie Feinberg, pens with printed logos, a stamp, and a vibrator, and pair of handcuffs given to Pratt by students from Iowa.