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Parents' Guide to

Sesame/CNN: Standing Up to Racism

By Ashley Moulton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Puppets, people tackle racism in great town hall special.

TV CNN Educational 2020
Sesame/CNN: Standing Up to Racism Poster Image

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Kids say (1 ):

Sesame Street has tackled a lot of hard subjects in its 50+ year history, and here it handles the topic of racism admirably. The town hall-style format, with its video messages from kids and parents across the United States, inspires empathy and connection with viewers. The puppets do a fantastic job of breaking down abstract concepts like race in a way young kids can understand. The CNN anchors and grown-up experts answer questions in an open and honest way, and encourage parents to be similarly vulnerable with their own children. They acknowledge the terrible legacy of racism against Black people in the United States, but take care to not give young viewers more information than they can developmentally handle. The special doesn't gloss over the sadness and fear many kids (and grown-ups) feel, but it also gives examples of concrete actions kids can take to fight racism.

Younger kids will be engaged by the familiar characters and the real kids that call into the special, but may lose interest in the segments more geared towards parents. There's a lot of talking, and none of the songs and fun visuals preschoolers typically see in their TV shows. Older kids can still learn a lot and may feel comforted by hearing hard information from familiar characters. Parents should expect to feel emotionally and intellectually challenged, and for this special to inspire tough conversations with your kids. This town hall on racism should absolutely be watched by kids and their grown-ups together.

TV Details

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