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Barbershop Talk

Is Sesame Street’s New Character in Reference to Black Men?

Jamal Muhammad March 23, 2017

This is just a theory.

Long-running children show Sesame Street has used muppets to teach kids how to handle real-life situations for the 48 years. Now in their 46th season, they introduced two new characters who have to deal with adversity in their lives. The first character has Autism, and her name is Julia. The second character’s name is Alex, and he has a father in jail.

“I just miss him so much. I usually don’t want people to know about my Dad.” Alex tells the other cast members.

Alex (far left) telling his friends that his dad is in jail. (Screenshot)

But then you have to ask yourself: “Are talking about black men?”

Not pull the race card, but one out of nine black children has a parent in prison, according to The Washington Post. In the general population, one out of 14 children has a parent incarcerated. Moreover, black men represent 40-50 percent of the prison population, and 51 percent of incarcerated African-American men are fathers, reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

So you do the math. It seems Sesame Street is starting to talk about core issues we endure in our society. Furthermore, Sesame Workshop created the Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration online kit, which is an initiative to assist children who have parents serving a long sentence. Providing the families with tips on how to have those conversations.

Alex won’t be a recurring cast member, but he will be a major character in the online kit.

Watch the video: Alex the Muppet


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