Remembering Pat Chin

By Monica Moorehead

Pat Chin, a national committee member of Workers World Party and WW contributing editor, died on May 16, 2005, following a more-than-decade-long, heroic battle against breast cancer.  She was 56 years old. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, her heritage also included a Chinese grandfather. Chin moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., in the early 1960s.  Following the Stonewall Rebellion, she came out as a lesbian in the early 1970s and was a founding member of Salsa Soul Sisters, an organization of mainly Black, Latina and other lesbians of color.

Pat was a principled communist who not only studied the works of Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, Amilcar Cabral, Kwame Nkrumah, Walter Rodney, Fidel Castro, Sam Marcy and many other revolutionary leaders but also put this theory into practice when it came to the contemporary struggles of the workers and the oppressed fighting capitalism and imperialism. She was a worker, a unionist, an advocate for women’s liberation, a brilliant writer and self-taught photographer, whose unique personality always lit up a room. She lived life to the fullest, including constantly sharing with others her love for the culture of the Caribbean peoples, whether it was with food or the arts.

If Pat were alive today, she would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the “Black Lives Matter” upsurge against police terror and state repression.

Pat Chin, a Fanm Vanyan in the Haitian Struggle

On the tenth anniversary of the death of Workers World Party leader, Pat Chin, the editors of Haïti Liberté wrote this moving tribute to her important contributions to the Haitian liberation struggle.

Comrade Pat Chin was the shining embodiment of international solidarity. Born in Jamaica, she already had an affinity for the struggles of neighboring Haiti. For close to two decades, she worked shoulder to shoulder with comrades engaged in the Haitian struggle, particularly in the Haiti Commission for Inquiry into the September 30 Coup d’Etat and the Haiti Support Network. She wrote articles and reports, spoke at events, photographed demonstrations and took part in several delegations to Haiti. Despite her reserved demeanor, she always brought sharp ideas and suggestions to meetings. She worked particularly closely with comrade Harry Numa, who also prematurely died in a tragic car accident in Haiti last August.

One of her last great contributions to the Haitian struggle was her collaboration with comrade Greg Dunkel in the publishing of the book “Haiti: A Slave Revolution.” Just this spring, we met a young Haitian man at a meeting in Canarsie carrying a dog-eared copy of the book. “It is my Bible,” he replied, when asked why he had it.

Comrade Pat, we miss your soft, wry laugh, your penetrating insights and your indomitable spirit. Fanm vanyan means, in Kreyòl, a crusading woman. That is what you were, and you live on in our hearts and memories. Kenbe la, kenbe fèm alaganash!

Haïti Liberté
May 18, 2015

Photo: Pat Chin speaking at a rally in New York’s Union Square, November 2004.

  • upper-middle class teenage american:capitalism is scum. communism is the way to go! equality for everyone sounds really nice!
  • vietnamese-american:well, a communist system of government tried to kill my family, so i'm pretty opposed to it.
  • upper-middle class teenage american:yeah, but that wasn't real communism. real communism is really nice, because no one's ever hungry!
  • ukrainian:are you kidding me? is this a joke?
  • north korean:what
  • upper-middle class teenage american:with communism, everyone has a job!
  • 10 year old soviet child:well, they aren't lying. everybody has a job...collective farms are nice this time of year.
  • chinese citizen:*cries*
  • upper-middle class teenage american:capitalism is the worst system!
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