‘Sesame Street’ Adds Two New Black Muppets to Teach Children about Racism

Sesame Workshop, the Nonprofit education organization behind Sesame Street, released new resources to support families in talking to their children about racism and race. The “ABCs of Racial Literacy” is part of “Coming Together,” Sesame Workshop’s ongoing commitment to racial justice. The characters were designed to provide families with the tools and resources they need in order to build racial literacy and to have an open conversation with young children.

It will also help to engage Allies and Advocates to become upstanders against racism and more. Coming together includes a racial justice education framework, which is an ongoing research and a rolling release of new content on SesameWorkshop.org/Coming Together.

Meet Wesley!

Coming Together is said to be rooted in extensive research and consultation with several experts in order to develop a racial justice educational framework and curriculum for children. Just like the science-based whole child model that Sesame Street is regularly known for, this framework will help guide and inform the creation of new Sesame Workshop content that will be going forward, including future seasons of the show. Through a press release Senior Vice-President of Sesame Workshop Jeanette Betancourt stated,

“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. The ABCs of Racial Literacy’ is designed to foster open, age-appropriate conversations among families and support them in building racial literacy. By encouraging these much-needed conversations through Coming Together, we can help children build a positive sense of identity and value the identities of others.”

The new resources are designed in order to have families celebrate their unique identities and provide age-appropriate language and several strategies to answer questions around racism in ways. In the music video, The new Black Muppets are seen celebrating their own unique identities in the song Giant. In another video that is expected to come soon, we’ll see Rosita and her friend Sophia help Rosita cope with a racist incident that happened at the grocery store all while celebrating speaking Spanish.

Sesame Street Introduces Two New Black Muppets

Several other resources include videos that feature real families talking about their experiences, talking points and conversation starters for parents and activities for families. In one video which features two new Muppets 5-year-old Wesley and his father Elijah, Elmo asks why Wes’ skin is brown. Elijah explains the concept of melanin and that the color of her skin is an important part of who we are as a person. Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street. The TV show has been educating children since 1969.

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