Patrick Minges was born in the westernmost tip of North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Highlands where his family has lived for seven generations. Just up the hill from his birthplace in Murphy lies Fort Butler, an internment camp wherein began the Trail of Tears for many Cherokee. A little further away lies the Kituwah mound, the mythical birthplace of the Cherokee, and the holiest of all places for the Cherokee. Much of Patrick’s research and writing has been shaped by his origins.
After receiving his master’s degree in counseling from East Carolina, he spent several years teaching in the public schools of North Carolina and South Carolina. In 1986, he decided to pursue a different path and moved to New York City to attend divinity school where he eventually received a doctorate in American religious history. While attending divinity school, he began working in the human rights field first with Amnesty International and later with Human Rights Watch where he was the Director of Publications. After nearly fifteen years of working for human rights organizations, Patrick again decided to follow a different light and returned to the public schools where the struggles are not as grand but equally important. Presently, he is a teacher at Davidson Early College in Lexington, N.C. Patrick is also the editor of Black Indian Slave Narratives.
Patrick and his wife Penn Payler live and work on the grounds of Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, N.C., with their two dogs, Selu and Boon, and their two cats, Satori and Ashoka.