Racial Segregation in "Brownies"

Topics: White people, Girl Scouts of the USA, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (1172 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Segregation in “Brownies”
The short story “Brownies” written by ZZ (Zuwena) Parker, takes place at Camp Crescendo, a summer camp for girl scouts. The story is primarily about the journey of fourth grade girls scouts from different schools, who are known as The Brownies. Each Brownie Troop is categorized by their different ethnicities. The story is told in the perspective of Laurel, an African American girl who is known to the girls in her Brownie troop as ‘Snot.’ On the first day of camp the Brownie girls stumble upon a troop of white girls and claim one of their members had address them with a racial slur. Deeply offended by their own assumption, they plan on teaching the other girls, Brownie Troop 909, a lesson. As a result, the next day the Brownie troop picks a fight with every girl within Brownie Troop 909, not knowing that those girls are delayed learners. The central theme of the story “Brownies” is segregation and how it affects the mind and actions of the younger people. In the short story, racial segregation began from the misuse term “Caucasian” at Laurel’s school, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. The school is located in the South suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, where there are very few whites who lives there in the East coast. In fact, there is only one white student who is enrolled at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School; a boy name Dennis. Based on the history of the time and location “Brownies” was written in many people had little interaction with Caucasians, in this case, the students at Laurel’s elementary school. The troop and their classmates saw “Whites [as] baby pigeons: real and existing, but rarely seen or thought about” (Parker 179). With the comparison made between baby pigeons and white people, this illustrates that the Brownie girls never experience being around white people as much. For this reason, the children did not know the meaning of the term “Caucasian” or how the term is used correctly in a sentence. Thus, the children made...
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