The Theme Of Racial Conflict In Brownies By ZZ Packer

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The story “Brownies” by ZZ Packer is centered around racial conflict between two Brownie Troops. One troop being all black, and the other all white girls. We are told the story through the eyes of Laurel, one of the girls in the black troop. The theme of culture jumps out in this story due to the obvious ideas of racial prejudice presented by the girls. Especially Arnetta, who starts the whole conflict by claiming the group of white troops used racial slurs against the black troop. The black troop appears to be the victims until the end when we learn the white troop is full of “slow learners”, and they now become the victims of pointless hate. The story shows how culture influences hate and how whites and blacks aren’t so different.
Arnetta
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There is no time directly stated in the story, but I assume it is in the distant past at a time where racial segregation and prejudice were a very real thing. The girls may have been brought up believing that every white person was out to get them, or hated them. This certainly would have existed in the past, especially in southern areas like Atlanta, where the story takes place. The girls could have been simply copying their parents bias. The girls may have believed it would make their parents proud if they had found out what happened. Similarly, the girls misunderstanding could have caused the emotions brought up at the camp. As stated in the story there was only one white in their school. That means they had little contact with whites. They only saw whites on rare occasions, like trips to the mall. This could lead to the misunderstanding of the world from the girls. Their only contact was mainly just between other African-Americans. They believed they were constantly under attack so they decided to attack back, or rather Arnetta persuaded them …show more content…
She says her father did not pay or thank the family for painting their porch. He said he only did it to have whites working for him. This could be impressionable to Laurel. She sees her father do this out of hate but isn’t exactly sure why he does it. She just assumes that’s how the world is because her father does it. Laurel doesn’t understand why the hate is there, but she was one of the girls against the fight. Even with this kind of story to tell she held back because she knew it was wrong to do that.
Lastly, let’s not forget that the girls are just children. Children are so easily biased by what they hear or see others do. Especially their parents and their friends. Arnetta went around trying to cause a fight, and naturally her friends are going to buy into it to try and remain friends with the “leader”, of the group. She went around telling a lie but it was good enough for most of the other girls in her troop to get behind, even though it was completely wrong. That’s just what kids do, but a few of the girls, like Snot and Daphne, refused to be a part of the

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