Prejudice and Discrimination in ZZ Packer´s Story: Brownies Essay

Prejudice and Discrimination in ZZ Packer´s Story: Brownies Essay

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In 2003, African American author, ZZ Packer wrote, “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” which illustrates a series of short stories and “Brownies” is one of those highly praised reads. Throughout the story, the aspect of prejudice and racism remain evident. The author illustrates the story about racism and humanity through Laurel’s eyes, who is just a fourth grader.
The story takes place near the southern suburbs of Atlanta Georgia, at Camp Crescendo. Group of six young girls in the camp, who are African American girls work on a plan to take revenge on the white girls belonging to 909 troop. The Brownie group girls wrongly believe that the white group girls have uttered some offensive remarks against them, and they plan to take revenge. The punishment includes beating up the girls and putting spider legs in their sleeping bags. However, the story takes a complete turn when the Brownie group girls come to realize that that the White troop consisted of girls who are “delayed learners” and have a medical condition named “Echolalia” (3).
Packer has vividly portrayed racism and many negative aspects of the society through his characters. Arnetta, who is one of the major characters of the story, is depicted as racially intolerant child because of the way she is brought up. She uses abusive language and has a very harsh tone, in author’s words, “Her tone had an upholstered confidence that was both regal and vulgar at once” (8). Arnetta’s meanness and hatred towards the white troop are obvious the way she talks about the white girls, “they smell like Chihuahuas, wet Chihuahuas” (2). Hence, she plays the part of the mean girl who is seen to bully nearly everyone. Moreover, she deliberately provokes her fellows to take revenge on the white troop...

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...he opposite. Throughout the story, the black group harassed and bullied the white girls. Hence, Packer shows through her narrative that racism has no color limitations and is present in many different ways, and it is human nature to belittle, hurt or humiliate others based on caste and race because wickedness exists in all of us, which no one can control.
Packer gave the readers a depressing message that unfairness and intolerance are the biggest battle that the people have to fight in the present day. The text shows how racism left a huge impact on the children’s minds, as they were insecure about their identity and surroundings. Overall, the story was excellent teaches the readers a powerful lesson, not judge others by their appearance or shortcomings. If one does not learn from the past mistakes, we will not have a pretty picture of our up and coming generation.

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