- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Young members of a new girls troop in Oakland called the “Radical Brownies” don brown berets and participate in “Black Lives Matter” protests in order to help spread a message of racial justice.

The small groups of 8- to 11-year-old girls were organized about a month ago by Marilyn Hollinquest and her friend Anayvette Martinez, after Ms. Martinez’s daughter Coatlupe told her she wanted to join a girls group, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“How amazing would it be to have a girls’ troop that was really focused around social justice and where girls could even earn badges?” Ms. Martinez mused.

The first badge the Radical Brownies earned was for marching in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Oakland last month, CBS reported. The badge features 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 girls said during a meeting Saturday afternoon.

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

One of the young girls explained that their berets are “a Black Panther/Brown Beret twist.”

“I think it’s very appropriate,” Ms. Hollinquest told the station. “A lot of the work the Black Panthers did was community oriented.”

“They are big issues,” added Ms. Martinez. “But we also feel like these are conversations that they’re not too young to be having.”

The co-founders say they are “queer women of color and avid trans allies” who create “trans and gender non-conforming inclusive spaces” for the group.

The group has received plenty of backlash, but in a matter of weeks, the Radical Brownies’ Facebook page received 10,000 likes, the CBS affiliate reported. There have been requests from as far away as France and Bermuda to start chapters there, the station said.

According to their Facebook Page, the Radical Brownies “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.”

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