Sesame Street's "The Power of We" Teaches How to Stand up Against Racism

Sesame Street presents its newest special, "The Power of We," to teach children to stand up against racism. On October 15, kids will be able to start watching the special show on HBO Max and PBS Kids channel.

The nonprofit educational organization behind "Sesame Street," Sesame Workshop, creates the new show that will be aired later this month. It hopes families will watch together with their children the half-hour anti-racism special show.


Defines racism for younger viewers

The special demonstrates how racial discrimination hurts other people and explains the term in a way that younger viewers would understand. In a Zoom-like format, the show will perform segmented skits and songs that will also be aired on PBS stations.

sesame street, the power of we, stand up against racism
(Photo : Instagram/sesamestreet)

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The new special also urges kids who encounter racial discrimination and victims of it to speak out directly. Gabrielle the Muppet explains that children should speak up if they see an adult doing something wrong.

A White Muppet tells a Black Muppet in one skit that he could not dress up as a superhero because they only come in whites. The Black Muppet did not stop doing so even if he was hurt. He also said that superheroes come in all colors.

Elmo also tackles racism with his friend, Tamir, in the song "How Do You Know?" The Muppet with black skin asked Elmo how he would feel if someone tells him he does not like him because he is red.

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Elmo answered that he would not care because he is proud to be red. The song then concluded with the lines that say people should speak up, say something, and do not give in.


Stand up against racism

Sesame Workshop teamed up with CNN for a Town Hall called "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism" over the summer. The Town Hall focused on the nationwide protests after George Floyd got killed by the Minneapolis police. One of the moments that stood out of the special was when Louie, Elmo's dad, perfectly explained racism to his son.

The Power of We shows how Sesame Workshop is dedicated to incorporate inclusivity in its show through its storyline and diverse cast. The workshop's Executive Vice President of Creative and Production, Kay Wilson Stallings, explained the company's aim to help stand against racism.

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Explains complex issues

She said that Sesame Street explains complex issues while entertaining children. She noted that it is the best chance for them to help children grasp about racism issues and teach them that they could stand up for themselves no matter how young they are.

The Sesame Street special has a viewing guide to help families spark meaningful conversations about race. It also has a companion guide available at SesameStreet.org/PowerofWe. Families and caregivers could discuss the special with the children using the guide.

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