The First Black Girl Scout Troop

9 Comments
March 12, 2012 ‐ By

This photo, taken in the late 1930s, is of the first African-American troop in the Dixie Region, which covered the Southern states. Source: Girlscouts.org

Isn’t it fitting that the one hundredth anniversary of the Girl Scouts, which is today, falls during Women’s Appreciation month? How kismet! If you were never a part of a Girl Scout Troop, do know that the organization has made significant strides throughout its 100 year history to include girls of various races and backgrounds (including disabled girls, girls with mothers in prison and most recently a transgender girl). The Girl Scouts has also sought to empower young girls to eventually become well rounded, self sufficient women. Even when the organization was started in 1912, girls around the country had the opportunity to explore arenas that had previously been “off limits” to us double X types.

Seeing that organization got it’s start at a time when our country was still largely segregated, the first Girl Scout Troops were made up of white girls only. But in 1917, five years after its inception, the first troop of African American girls was formed. From there Native American girls formed a troop in New York in 1921, Mexican-American girls formed a troop in Texas. By the 1950s, the organization made a national push to desegregate its troops, eliciting praise from Martin Luther King Jr for helping to end segregation in other organizations across the nation.

By 1975, the Girl Scouts had elected their first African American woman, Dr. Gloria D. Scott, to serve as the National President for the organization.

In honor of a great organization and its 100th anniversary, find your local girl scout and buy a box of cookies or three. You can rationalize that it’s going to a worthy cause. ;)

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  • Tamarpaoli

    I was a brownie, junior, cadet and senior….I took it seriously, I wish more girls would join! 

  • Donna Greem

    Great Story….

  • Biagee

    My mother was one of the members( Anna Brooks Starling) of that first Black troop in the Dixie Region.  She and her friends have kept a life long bond.  They still chat and visit each other.  It is just wonderful to watch these lovely ladies..they are still so full of life! You just got to love them… And an irony to this is my middle daughter now works with the Cumberland Valley Girl Scouts. 

  • sunsetssplendor

    I was a Brownie, Girl Scout and Cadet and loved every moment of it, especially when we visited Camp Whispering Pines.

     

  • Margeaux

    troop 61 toledo ohio! from 1985-94 my mom was the troop leader. i learned to fish, ride and groom horses, first aid, build a fire, cpr, how to find constillations, make soap and salt water taffe :) and several phrases of ASL. it was a wonderful experience that gave me lots of confidence. happy birthday girls couts of america!

  • Black_Pride

    I love this, thank you for posting!  I was a proud Girl Scout member! I was also a Brownie! I wish more African-American families would begin embracing the Girl and Boy Scouts again. These organizations taught or re-enforced family values such as self-respect, self-reliance, caring, and sharing with others etc.

  • Mls2698

    Seems like they were ahead of their times. Perhaps if more girls were in the troops, there would be less mean girls/women who bully.

  • Sugar_Spice

    I represent for Troop 202 Pasadena, CA!!!!!!!!!

    • Boomboomroom

       Hey, born and raised in Pasadena, Ca. Glad to see you represent!!