How the title "Brownies" and the story complement one another.

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Being a Brownie is the early training for being a Girl Scout, and both organizations exist to empower girls to be their best selves and to serve their communities and learn how to be leaders. Brownies are typically up to about eight years old. The troop that the narrator, Snot, is in is composed entirely of African American girls. Because there is a theme of race-consciousness and a hyper vigilance within the girls to acts of racism, the double entendre of their skin color is meant to be tragicomic. The diminutive of "ie" on the end of the word signals their youth; there are brown in skin color, but very young in terms of life experience. At the same time, they have been socially conditioned by their parents and society to be aware of the racism that will be a part of their daily lives in America.

The pejorative of "retarded" that is used by Snot's troop to describe the girls of Troop 909 and the accusation of Troop 909 using "nigger" to describe Daphne are equally hurtful, divisive, and destructive. The way that Daphne reacts, by opting out of any acts of retribution, is akin to the humility that the Mennonites show in painting the porch of Snot's family. Snot is able to see this and begins to doubt the morality of what her father, an adult, has done in taking advantage of the Mennonites. At least two of the Brownies, Daphne and Snot, are on their way to becoming their best selves, and perhaps one day will become leaders, as well.

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