Radical Brownies: Black Panther Twist On Girl Scouts Sparks Backlash

Radical Brownies are young girls in a new, non-Girl Scout troop in Oakland, California. The groups reportedly focus on social justice and participates in Black Lives Matter protests. Some claim that the Radical Brownies are also fostering a message of racism.

The groups of Radical Brownies are comprised of girls ages eight to 11 and were organized about one month ago by Marilyn Hollinquest and her friend, Anayvette Martinez. Martinez decided to form the troops after her daughter, Coatlupe, said she wanted to join a girls group, according to a CBS News affiliate report.

The group’s Facebook page describes the mission of the troop as an effort to “empower young girls of color so that they step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership in order to make the world a more radical place.”

During the CBS News interview, Marilyn Hollinquest said, “How amazing would it be to have a girls’ troop that was really focused around social justice and where girls could even earn badges?” The Radical Brownies earned their first badge by marching in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Oakland. The badge featured a fist emblazoned with the words “Black Lives Matter.”

“White policeman are killing black young folks such as women, men and children,” one of the Radical Brownies stated during a recent troop meeting.

Another girl added, “Mike Brown. He was shot because he didn’t do nothing. Only the police officer shot him because of his skin color.”

Part of the Radical Brownies uniform is a brown beret. One of the members of the troop explained that their berets are “a Black Panther/Brown Beret twist.”

Marilyn Hollinquest added, “I think it’s very appropriate. A lot of the work the Black Panthers did was community oriented. They are big issues. But we also feel like these are conversations that they’re not too young to be having.”

The co-founders of the Radical Brownies describe themselves as “queer women of color and avid trans allies” who help develop “trans and gender non-conforming inclusive spaces” for the troop of girls. The Radical Brownies have reportedly received a host of backlash in the few weeks since the troop was formed. But the group appears to have a plethora of supporters as well — their Radical Brownies’ Facebook page has received 10,000 likes to date. Interest in forming sister groups have reportedly been coming in from as far away as France.

What do you think about the formation and mission of the Radical Brownies?

[Image via Radical Brownies Facebook]