On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Taji Senior, Public Relations Executive for Girl Scouts of Central Texas.
The Girl Scouts of America began as an all-white organization in Savannah, Ga., in 1912. Five years later, in 1917, the troop introduced its first African American girl scouts, possibly in the New York area. This positive change led to the integration of more scout troops in 1950, 14 years before the Civil Rights Movement. It forged the creation of a Native American troop in 1921, followed by a Mexican American girl troop.
In the late 1930’s, the first southern region African American Dixie troop was formed. In the archives of the Girls Scouts of America, there is a photo of both African American and white girl scouts at Camp Indian Run in Philadelphia, 1941.
African American woman has served in leadership role with the organization - In 1969, Dr. Dorothy B. Ferebee served as the first African American vice president of Girl Scouts USA. Then Texas native Dr. Gloria Scott was chosen as their first African American president in 1975.
GSUSA aims to empower girls and to help teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, entrepreneurship, and citizenship through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid, and earning badges by acquiring practical skills. Girl Scouts' achievements are recognized through rank advancement and by various special awards such as the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.