I’ve been on Tumblr for about a year now and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything regarding Sesame Street.
So, I figured I would shed a little light on it for all of you.
I watched this show religiously as a kid, and I’ve been looking into it again recently (a lot) just out of the sake of curiosity. There’s a lot of great stuff going on with this show.
To start, eight of its ten regular human cast members are people of color.
There’s Susan and Gordon, played by Dr. Loretta Long and Roscoe Orman…
Maria and Luis, played by Sonia Manzano and Emilio Delgado…
Alan, played by Alan Muraoka…
Chris played by Christopher Knowings…
Leela, played by Nitya Vidyasagar…
Finally, Mando, played by Ismael Cruz Cordova.
The show also has a single mom named Gina (played by Allison Bartlett-O’Reilly) who adopted a child named Marco from Guatemala and is raising him on her own.
There’s also a bilingual Muppet named Rosita, played by Mexican-born puppeteer Carmen Osbahr.
The diversity on the show has allowed storylines like Leela celebrating the Indian holiday of Rakhi…
and Rosita having to deal with Mexican stereotypes in one of her story books.
The show also introduced a Muppet named Segi (named after the adopted daughter of the show’s head writer) who was introduced to sing a song about loving her natural hair.
Segi also had to deal with a story book saying that a teddy bear in a toy store is “too brown,” and therefore not good enough. This leads to a great song sung to her by Leela, Chris, and Mando.
The show also touches on subjects normally not covered on children’s television, like when Big Bird was being bullied for being too big and too yellow.
The show also has special outreach material specifically made for children of difficult situations, called “Little Children, Big Challenges.” These stories can cover everything from divorce to poverty to having an incarcerated parent. They also cover topics for children of the military, such as Rosita having to deal with her father becoming a wheelchair user after getting wounded in battle.
So, in short, this is a show that does more than any other children’s show I know, so I figured I would draw your attention to it so it can be properly appreciated.
Sesame Street: Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration – Sizzle Reel
Highlights from Sesame Street’s new initiative: Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration. Alex talks with Abby Cadabby, Rosita, and Sofia about his dad’s incarceration, real families with young children share their own experiences with parental incarceration, and an animation shows a family’s trip to visit a parent in prison.