Sesame Workshop is adding two new black Muppets to “Sesame Street” in an effort to educate children about racism and racial literacy in America, according to a press release.
The Workshop announced the introduction of Wes and Elijah to the show in a press release on Tuesday as part of their “ABCs of Racial Literacy” resources, under their Coming Together program that focuses on racial and social justice.
“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.” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of the Sesame Workshop, said in the release.
Sesame Street introduces two black muppets for conversations about black identity and race https://t.co/PmkSFnDx0Q
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 26, 2021
Two new videos featuring the new characters were also released to introduce them.
The first video centers around Elmo asking the characters why their skin is brown, with the characters then going into a discussion about melanin and how it impacts the physical features of a person. according to the press release. They then discuss how “the color of our skin is an important part” of who they are, the press release says.
Sesame Street introduces two new Black Muppets, a father-son duo named Wes and Elijah, to help teach parents and children about racial literacy (IG: seasamestreet) pic.twitter.com/BNoFwhORLr
— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) March 25, 2021
A second video focuses on two Spanish characters who are coping with a “racist incident” at a grocery store, CBS reported. Characters also sing a song titled “Giant” in another video that centers around “pride, self-esteem…and big dreams” for children among other things. (RELATED: Chicago Public Library Will Remove Six Dr. Seuss Books Deemed ‘Racist’ From Shelves)
The workshop is also looking to add new resources in the future for parents who want to continue the discussion about race and identity with their children outside of the show, NBC reported.
“Sesame Street” has recently been introducing race into the central theme in some of their episodes, alongside a special that aired last October around the topic of racism titled “The Power of We.”