Packer’s article on the plight of African Americans’ testimonies receives huge praise in literature. The short story “Brownies” provides numerous issues in the contemporary American society. However, racial prejudice and segregation have a tendency to be the most outstanding themes in this story. Plotted in one of the summer schools, the story demonstrates the trip of the African American students, the narrator major traits of racial concerns in her society. Intentionally, the creator dwells on girl child to highlight this fact. Racial segregation is a vice that defines the separation of races in all manner of social and financial activities. Ideally, racial prejudice is of crucial concern in the contemporary society.
According to Packer, the black people were subject to oppression and servanthood among the whites. It is very strange to find a white servant in the black’s backyard. Ideally, the only encounter includes a narration by the persona as “It was the only time he’d have a white man on his knees doing something for a black man for free” (Packer, 30). Notably, racial concerns are the most inflicting slavery that the white people became subject. Perhaps, most of them perceived the blacks as less human, a common practice among the Americans. Capably, the girl troops highlight the allegations of disability as a matter of segregation in social performances.
Moreover, the school in the story is an illustration of the state of events in this society. Predominantly, there is a dominant reign of black student all over as we witness a reference of only one white student in the system identified as Dennis. Typically, the white students occupied their own racial schools while the blacks were also in their own backyards. In addition, the narrator claimed that “When you lived in the south suburbs of Atlanta, it is easy to forget about Whites” (31) implying that the entire region was a dominant zone for the African Americans.
Additionally, evidence of separation in race exists in a manner that the troops of black students are considered as social “invaders” in a shopping mall (31). This way, one can understand the author’s thematic concerns. We live in societies where people consider race as a dividing force among humanities. Potentially, the struggle for uniformity in humanity posits a character of racial strain in the society. Nonetheless, this aspect highlights the destructive character of the perpetrators in the society. The narrator considers it, as “something mean” (31) is typically divisive and destructive in the world. It not only deters the progress in the communities but also kills the morals of human values in our cultures.
At the same time, claims of mental disorders making the girls repeat what they heard during their movements highlight the level of racial prejudice in this culture. Such a claim demystifies the perspective equality in human kind. Accordingly, they are “delayed learners” with “special needs,” who have the medical condition of “Echolalia.” (3). Thus, numerous claims in the story postulate that the other race was short of intellect and, supposedly, bore no fruit in the country’s development. Such positions evidently exist even in the current era. Concisely, the African Americans have a long history of struggling for freedom in the hands of the white people. They have been subjects of slavery and racial discrimination for a long period. This article is a masterpiece that explains the theme of racial prejudice and segregation as it occurred in the American culture.
ZZ Packer. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. “Brownies.” New York, Riverhead Books Print, 2003. 1-31