Racial Segregation and Prejudice in Brownies Essay

Racial Segregation and Prejudice in Brownies Essay

Length: 944 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


“Brownies” is a short story written by author, ZZ Packer, which takes place at Camp Crescendo, a summer camp near the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. The story surrounds a group of African American Brownie girls, in the fourth grade, who journey to this campsite for a camping experience. On the trip, they encounter another brownie group comprised of white girls, all of who are mentally handicapped. “Brownies” is told from a first person involved point of view, through a fellow Brownie member from the African American troop, named Laurel. Because the story takes place in the 1960’s, ZZ Packer explores issues that are prevalent in that time period, such as racial segregation, prejudice and ignorance.
Racism is defined as the “systematic oppression of African-Americans and other people of color and the related ideology of white supremacy and black inferiority” (Bohmer 95). “It assumes an inherent superiority or inferiority on the basis of perceived group attributes” (Pachter et al. 61). Racial segregation exists everywhere in the United States during the 1960’s, especially in the south where it was required by law. “When you [live] in the south suburbs of Atlanta, it [is] easy to forget about whites. Whites [are] like those baby pigeons: real and existing, but rarely seen or thought about” (Packer 179). Packer conveys the reality of the times extremely well by creating the all-black girl scouts and the all-white girl scouts, but there is no mixing of the races in either group. Additionally, the two troops remain separated throughout the story and the tension created between them is a reminder of the struggles that black people experienced.
African Americans and white people do not share the same public facilities, including schools...


... middle of paper ...


....” Are We Born Racist. Psychology Today. 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Packer, ZZ. “Brownies.” Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2006. 177-94. Print.
Pachter, Lee M, et al. “Perceived Racism And Discrimination In Children And Youths: An Exploratory Study.” Health & Social Work 35.1 (2010): 61. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
Ponterotto, Joseph G., Jerlym S. Porter, and Shawn O. Utsey. “Prejudice and Racism, Year 2008--Still Going Strong: Research On Reducing Prejudice With Recommended Methodological Advances.” Journal of Counseling and Development 86.3 (2008): 339+. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
Racism. Anti-Defamation League, New York, 2001. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
“The New Racism.” Time 88.1 (1966): 19. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Racial Segregation and Prejudice in ZZ Packer's Brownies Essay

- The short story, “Brownies” is written by author, ZZ Packer. It surrounds a group of African American Brownie girls in the fourth grade who journey to a campsite situated near the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, called Camp Crescendo. On the trip, they encounter another brownie group comprised of white girls, all of who are mentally handicapped. “Brownies” is told from a first person involved point of view, through a Brownie member from the African American troop, named Laurel. Because the story takes place in the 1960’s, ZZ Packer explores issues that are prevalent in that time period, such as racial segregation and prejudice....   [tags: short stories, analysis]

Better Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Racism, Elementary, Camp]

Better Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Brownies, by ZZ Packer Essay

- In the short story “Brownies,” author ZZ Packer uses the narrator, Laurel, to explore the tensions that exist between belonging to a community and maintaining individuality. While away at camp with her brownie troop, she finds herself torn between achieving group inclusion and sustaining her own individualism. Although the events of the short story occur at Camp Crescendo, Packer is able to expand (and parallel) this struggle for identity beyond the camp’s walls and into the racially segregated society that both the girls and their families come from....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Tensions]

Better Essays
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Racial Segregation And Gender Segregation

- Residential Segregation Race is an ambiguous concept possessed by individuals, and according to sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant, it is socially constructed. Race divides people into categories which causes needless cultural and social tensions. The concept of race also causes inclusion, exclusion, and segregation in the U.S. Both inclusion and exclusion tie together to create the overall process of segregation; one notion cannot occur without resulting in the others. Segregation is a form of separation in terms of race that includes the processes of inclusion and exclusion....   [tags: Racial segregation, Racism, Crime, Urban decay]

Better Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Racial Prejudice And Racial Segregation

- Ever since the end of racial segregation, Americans have struggled with equality and have been caught between racial tensions and incidences that portray racial prejudice in the existing society. Sociologists and physiologist Anthony Greenwald with two of his other colleagues designed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) that evaluates the autonomic associations individuals have based on their reactions towards certain topics such as race. I recently took the test and the results were absolutely not surprising to me....   [tags: White people, Racism, Race, Black people]

Better Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

Racial Segregation And The United States Essay

- Throughout the 21st century, our perspectives on inequality have drastically changed. African Americans and Whites can attend the same school, walk the same street, even use the same bathroom facilities. Same-sex marriage has even been legalized in the United States. America now has a different outlook on inequality but even though laws have been passed, discrimination still exists against African Americans and also homosexuals. A major concern of Dr. King Jr. was racial segregation. Racial segregation is the enforced separation of different racial groups in a country, community, or establishment....   [tags: Racial segregation, African American]

Better Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

Prejudice and Racial Segregation on Campus Essays

- Racial Segregation on Campus       The practice of ethnic separation and segregation is common on every college and university campus. Since this practice has happened through history, it is remarkable that this has only been recognized recently as a true problem (Jacobs, 2). Segregation has hampered America as long as it has existed. Ethnicity and segregation was nearly the cause of this country splitting apart during the Civil War. Since then reformation and hard work has attempted to bring unity to this country....   [tags: Sociology Racism Prejudice Essays]

Better Essays
2292 words (6.5 pages)

Segregation Of The Sun, By Lorraine Hansberry Essay

- Unconstitutional Segregation in A Raisin in the Sun After World War II, African Americans had unequal opportunities in many aspects of their lives. A Raisin in the Sun, a play by Lorraine Hansberry, mirrors the conflicts endured by African-Americans after World War II who were hoping to better their lives, but were still held back by the racism and bigotry of previous eras. Despite the legal barriers of segregation in the 1950s, black families were still being denied access to jobs, higher education, and particularly as it relates to the play, desirable neighborhoods in which to raise their families....   [tags: Racial segregation, African American, Racism]

Better Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Racism, Racial Profiling and Segregation in America

- "--we are all complicit and we all carry a certain responsibility for America's original sin: racism." -- David Bedrick As I walked into the State University Student Center one morning, a disturbing sight immediately struck me. The sight that lay before my eyes was not only very disturbing but also very common at State University. Although the Supreme Court in 1954 in Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education declared segregation illegal, our student center today probably looks the way diners looked sixty years ago....   [tags: Racism, Prejudice, Racial Profiling Essays]

Better Essays
2487 words (7.1 pages)

Effects of Racial Prejudice Essay

- Effects of Racial Prejudice The effects of racial prejudice and segregation aimed at African Americans in the south on their lives and opportunities were deep-seeded and long lasting. The effects of segregation were perhaps the most destructive because they were legal and above-board. These laws illustrated to the African American population that their struggle was not limited to battling the backward notions and violent actions of cowardly southern rednecks, but that they had to overcome the mentality and ideology of a national government and, in fact, an entire society, that was failing to recognize them as citizens worthy of the basic rights and freedoms to which they were entitled as...   [tags: Race Segregation African American Black]

Better Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)