Sesame Street is tackling the anti-Asian harassment with the video “Proud of your eyes”
Sesame Workshop, the educational organization nonprofit behind “Sesame Street,” recently released a video focusing on the experiences of American children of Asian origin in the context of an ongoing initiative to help families to have honest conversations about the breed.
In “Proud of Your Eyes,” Wes and Alan characters help their friend Analyn, who is Filipino American, after being teased about the shape of his eyes. They sing together a song about the beauty of their eyes and how the eyes can tell the story of their family. The video is part of Sesame Workshop program “The ABCs of Racial Literacy”, which offers an educational program on racial justice for young children.
The song includes lyrics such as “Your eyes tell the story of your family. They show where you came from and how you came to be. Color, shape and size should always make you proud of your eyes.
According to a recent study by Sesame Workshop, 86% of children say they believe that people of different races are not always treated fairly, and parents reported that nearly half of these children had personally experienced some form of discrimination.
Sesame Workshop has also published articles, guides and online activities to help families continue the conversation on the fight against racism. The new resources were created with the guidance of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and several other racial equity groups.
“The reality is that many children grow up being victims of racism, including Asian American children who, for years, have reported high levels of racial harassment – a number exacerbated by increased xenophobia and scapegoats. during the pandemic Covid-19 “Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, co-executive -directeurs of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, said in a statement. “With a long history of trust with families, Sesame Workshop is the ideal organization to engage parents and caregivers in critical conversations with their toddlers, helping families cope with the evils of racism and help strengthen solidarity between communities. “
“Having open conversations with children about race and racism is essential, not only to develop understanding and empathy, but also to begin the process of healing children who experience racism,” said Gundanna and Leung, who served as advisors on new Sesame Workshop resources.
Alan Muraoka, the American actor of Japanese descent who played Alan, the owner of Hooper’s Store, on “Sesame Street” since 1998, has helped to create scenarios centered on diversity and discrimination in the series. Last year, he co-directed a special on racism entitled “The Power of We”.
“Being able to see so many types of people represented is super important,” Muraoka said in an interview with the program “TODAY” on NBC in 2019. “So for me, being Japanese American, you know, be in some way the Asian American representation in the series is so important, and I had so many American parents of Asian origin who came to say how much it means to them. But I feel like just another person in this beautiful fabric that we have woven and created. “