Sesame street debuted in 1969, when PBS the Public Broadcasting Service was still named the National Educational Television Network.
For many, 53 years of being a positive platform to educate children around the world via satellite television and more recently the internet, has been a long wait before enlisting African sounds.
In a statement on the sesame street website, the producers affirmed that, “All children need to feel “strong in their skin,” which can be challenging in a racist society”. They further stated that, “The aim of the song is to promote learning about diversity and help children develop a strong sense of self.”
The song titled “Giant” was made by YolanDa Brown who has won awards as a musician, toured with the Temptations, Asa, Billy Ocean and collaborated with 2Face Idibia, Kelly Jones and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
YolanDa Brown has worked as a broadcaster on radio and TV with remarkable marks that include her YolanDa’s Band Jam series on CBeebies receiving an award from the Royal Television Society as Best Children’s Programme. Yolanda sounded excited as she wrote, “I can finally tell the world! A dream come true”, while announcing the Sesame Street gig to her instagram audience.
Sesame Street is a production of Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization. Sesame Street programs have been seen in over 150 countries.
The world famous television show recently included Wes and his father Elijah – black puppets to broaden diversity.
Sesame Street also features popular puppets like Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Kermit the frog and other family friendly characters who have featured prominently on merchandise ranging from pencils and erasers to school bags. Over the years the show has been used to educate children on issues like racism, death in family, poverty and much recently, Covid-19.
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