Since Sesame Street debuted more than five decades ago, in 1969, the show and the nonprofit’s related programming have dealt with tough topics in an age-appropriate way.
Time Magazine reports that Sesame Workshop and its team of educational advisers developed Coming Together, a racial-justice initiative with an educational framework and curriculum, which in the eight months since it launched has included a town hall with CNN about racism and protest, as well as a special, The Power of We, about speaking out against systemic inequality and prejudice. In one viral clip from the June town hall, Elmo’s dad Louie explains the demonstrations Elmo has been seeing outside his window: “On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. Across the country, people of color, especially in the Black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are. What we are seeing is people saying enough is enough. They want to end racism.”
Elijah Walker, 35, a new Black Muppet who, along with his son Wesley, 5, will be introduced on March 23 by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street.