‘Sesame Street’ welcomes two Black Muppets to educate young viewers about race
“Sesame Street”‘s newest characters, a Black dad Elijah and his son Wes, are making their debuts in the long-running show in an effort to celebrate unique identities.
Sesame Workshop – the nonprofit, educational organization behind “Sesame Street”– is releasing resources to “support families in talking to their children about race and racism” featuring Wes, Elijah and Elmo according to a statement Tuesday .
In the video, Elmo politely asks Elijah why Wes’ skin is brown, while Elmo’s skin is red.
"Sesame Street" Muppet Elmo pictured with Wes as part of the "ABCs of Racial Literacy," new resources to support families in talking to their children about race and racism. The "ABCs of Racial Literacy" is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop's ongoing commitment to racial justice. (Photo: Hand-out, Sesame Workshop)
“Melanin is something we each have inside our bodies that make the outside of our bodies the skin color that it is,” Elijah responds. “It also gives us our eye and our hair color.”
Elijah also reminds young viewers that “the color of our skin is an important part of who we are, but we should all know that it’s OK we all look different in so very many ways.”
Sesame Workshop also released a music video to the song “Giant” featuring Wes, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita, who collectively sing about the importance of feeling “strong in their skin.”
“If something’s wrong, I will stand up/ If something’s unfair, Elmo will speak up/ In this great big world, it’s not great to feel hurt/ We’re one big family so let’s care for each other,” the characters sing together.
‘Everything starts at home’: Kids’ TV shows that teach anti-racism, celebrate diversity
“At Sesame Workshop, we look at every issue through the lens of a child. Children are not colorblind – not only do they first notice differences in race in infancy, but they also start forming their own sense of identity at a very young age,” Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president Dr. Jeanette Betancourt said in the statement.
The resources are available online for free in English and Spanish.
‘Speak up!’: ‘Sesame Street’ to tackle racism in TV special ‘The Power of We’
In October, “Sesame Street” taught children to stand up against racism in a half-hour anti-racist special, “The Power of We,” which defined racism for younger viewers and showed how it can be hurtful.
The special urged children who encounter racism or hear someone else be the victim of it to call it out. “When you see something that’s wrong, speak up and say, ‘That’s wrong’ and tell an adult,” 6-year-old Gabrielle the Muppet advised.
Contributing: Mark Kennedy, Associated Press
Source: Read Full Article