Representation Matters: Sesame Street Introduces New Black Muppets to Teach the ‘ABCs of Racial Literacy’
Elijah, a 35-year-old meteorologist, loves running, being outdoors, watching movies and cooking! Wes, Eljiah’s 5-year-old son, loves going to school and playing pretend! These two characters are the newest faces on the long-lasting children’s show, Sesame Street. What makes these two special? They are the newest “humanoid” Muppets with melanated skin tones. These new characters were created to address race and showcase representations of Blackness for all children to see. Elijah and Wes were added to the program to help with teaching the “ABCs of Racial Literacy.”
Since its beginning, Sesame Street has provided children with an understanding of today’s current events and has created ways to represent all children. I Love My Hair addressed a movement of natural hair enthusiasts; Lupita Nyong’o taught children how to love their skin! Sesame Street also introduced Julia as its first Muppet with Autism.
With this generation of children witnessing the push for police reform, the COVID-19 pandemic, an attack on the US Capitol Building and widespread violence against people of color, Sesame Street’s ‘Coming Together’ initiative is more important than ever.
Parents who are seeking tools to open dialogs on these events have access to a treasure trove of materials through the workshop’s Coming Together initiative.