Laurel's Short Story 'Brownies'

Words: 613
Pages: 3

The short story “Brownies” is about the unnecessary hostility that comes from racism. The author uses two Girl Scout troops on a camping trip to show just how immature and ridiculous it really is. The narrator is a young African American girl named Laurel. As the story progresses one of Laurel’s fellow troop members, Arnetta, is thrown into the role of instigator when it comes to topic of racism. Typical stories about racism would have the girls from the “white” troop, Troop 909, throwing racial slurs at the “black” troop. They would Laurel and her troop feel inferior by flaunting their wealth and intelligence, however “Brownies” is different. The author veers from the norm in their story; she reverses the roles of the typical victim of racism and its usual attacker. She shows that the pointless hatred that is racism is present among not only all races, but also all ages. …show more content…
The author has Laurel make these racial observations about the girls from the other troop, showing that without even speaking to them, racial prejudice has begun. The author describes the color of the white girls the way a girl of Laurel’s age would. She does this to subconsciously enforce that even children of such a young age can be subject to racism.
A prominent racial stereotype in the story “Brownies” is the way the girls from Laurel’s troop speak. For example, when the Arnetta is discussing fighting the girls from Troop 909 she say things such as: “ …. in they sleeping bags…. Then we gone beat ‘em up” (181). The girls from Troop 909 have an accent that is typically associated with uneducated black individuals. The author uses their lack of proper grammar to accentuate that they are no better than anyone else. This also, again, is to remind the reader that these are children who are displaying this type of racist