Growing up Puerto Rican in the South Bronx of the 1950s and 60s was tough. Poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, and being the "invisible minority" were daily occurrences. Yet Sonia Manzano found her refuge in the performing arts, and the young dancer was poised to accept the job of a lifetime when the Children's Television Workshop cast her as Maria on the now-acclaimed Sesame Street children's program. After four decades of performing on PBS, author Manzano reflects on the importance of children of color seeing themselves represented in the media--both on the stage and behind the camera.
FeelLikeYouBelong.com follows up our TV programming with related tips, exercises, and resources—all geared to helping newcomers feel welcome while giving U.S. natives fascinating insights into their own culture and language.
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Alan Headbloom is an applied linguist who works with international professionals across a variety of industries.
Follow Alan on Twitter: @headbloom
To submit interview requests, please contact us using the form provided on the 'Contact' page.
Coming Next Week
Author Joe Lurie: Cultural Perceptions and Deceptions
From the moment U.S.-born Joe Lurie first stepped off the plane in East Africa, his life was forever changed. From imagined smells to misunderstood invites, he stumbled and learned his way to cultural competence. After his Peace Corps placement and other overseas assignements, he became Executive Director of the International House at the University of California-Berkeley. There he guided hundreds of international and American students through the maze that is cultural (mis)perception. Joe joins us to talk about a lifetime of global gaffes and growth, which he has covered in his new book, Perception and Deception.