MLK Jr. commended a special group for being a beacon of desegregation—the Girl Scouts. It will warm your heart when you learn why!
When you think of great leaders in African American rights, chances are the Girl Scouts aren't high on the list. How could a group of cookie-toting, sash-wearing young ladies bring the two races together? By being one of the first organizations to promote desegregation.
The Girl Scouts were founded in 1912 by Julietter Gordon Low. She declared that Girl Scouts were "something for the girls of America and all the world"—and she absolutely meant it. The first African American troop was formed in 1917 with an effort to desegregate by the 1950s.
The positive influence even managed to catch the attention of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He described them as "a force for desegregation," something he wouldn't say lightly.
The racial barriers were knocked down even further when a Native American troop formed in 1921, closely followed by a Mexican American troop. The first African American vice president of the Girl Scouts was Dorothy B. Ferebee in 1969, and the first African American president, Dr. Gloria Scott, came around in 1975.
Currently there are close to 300,000 African American girls earning badges and selling those criminally addictive cookies.