*The racial reckoning that rippled out from the police killing of George Floyd has reached Sesame Street, who is launching the initiative ABCs of Racial Literacy with the addition of two new muppets who are Black.
In a recently released video, 5-year-old Muppet Wes and his father Elijah, are introduced and Elmo, who wants to know why Wes’s skin is brown. They explain to Elmo the concept of melanin and that our skin color is an important part of who we are.
The ABCs of Racial Literacy is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop’s commitment to racial justice which includes a racial justice educational framework, ongoing research, and a rolling release of new content.
“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,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president, Sesame Workshop in a written statement. “‘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.”