Sesame Street will be adding two Black muppets to their cast in an effort to promote racial literacy and teach kids about different skin colors.
The long-running kids show made the reveal of their new characters in a new Sesame Street special, The ABC’s of Racial Literacy. The episode features Elmo asking the father-son duo, Wes and Elijah, why their skin is brown. The two then explain what melanin is and the details of races in the special. This project is being overseen by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the show.
Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President Dr. Jeanette Betancourt shared they tackled this project because they felt it was important to talk about race to children.
“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,” Betancourt said in a statement. “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.”
The press release also cited that this move was “rooted in extensive research and consultation with experts to develop a groundbreaking racial justice educational framework and curriculum.”
In the past, Sesame Street has introduced new characters to expand on conversations around inclusivity and diversity. Wes and Elijah look to be their latest efforts in teaching kids about different people in the world.