Please welcome back guest blogger, Maxine N. She features her photography and other adventures on Side Hustle Stories (@SideHustleStory), which highlights art done outside of the 9-5 grind.
Actually, Sesame Street was originally created with a focus on educating inner city and low-income families. The creators wanted a show that children could relate to, but also expose them to images they may not experience in the city. Since its creation, Sesame Street has won awards for its conscientious treatment of sensitive subject matter and been lauded for handling topics such as poverty, HIV-AIDS, divorce, etc. in a thoughtful, inclusive and age appropriate way.
Contrast this with the lineup on network television. Currently, there are zero shows with a cast of all minorities on the major television networks, and a few shows with POCs at all. The few that do, are relegated to minor and/or stereotypical roles.
I don’t understand why POC are continually erased from network television. We can see from children’s programming that it is possible for The Powers That Be to produce diverse television that also makes money – even with shows that *gasp* only feature POCs.
Why does this matter? Television influences how we think about people and the world. Television is depicted as a reflection of our society. It is hurtful to me as a person of color to be constantly ignored, or inaccurately portrayed in what is supposed to be “my” culture too.
Lately, I don’t watch very much television. Thanks to the internet, I’m able to supplement the few network shows I watch with entertainment that makes it a point to include people like me, like Awkward Black Girl and the podcasts at BcCo Studios. I support network television that attempts to be inclusive, and turn off my TV for the rest. Will this help us get to Sesame Street? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try.