“Sesame Street” is introducing two new Muppets, a Black father and son, as part of an effort to help children understand racial literacy.
The two Muppets, Wes and Elijah, were introduced in a short video created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the long-running show. In the video, Elmo wants to know why Wes’s skin is brown, so his father Elijah explains the concept of melanin and how “the color of our skin is an important part of who we are,” according to a press release from Sesame Workshop.
Sesame Workshop also released a music video to the song “Giant” where the “Sesame Street” Muppets celebrate their “own unique identities.” Another video featuring Rosita, her mother and her friend celebrates speaking Spanish and shows the Muppets helping Rosita cope after a racist incident.
Additional new resources to support families who want to discuss race and racism with their children are being released as part of Sesame Workshop’s “Coming Together” series.
“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,” Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President Dr. Jeanette Betancourt said in a statement.