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.

“My time spent with the Feel Like You Belong show was not only fun and engaging, but also important. The topics that were covered are really close to my heart, and the message that they bring to the world is absolutely essential.” – Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Obama 2nd Inauguration (photo credit: ew.com)

“My time spent with the Feel Like You Belong show was not only fun and engaging, but also important. The topics that were covered are really close to my heart, and the message that they bring to the world is absolutely essential.”

– Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Obama 2nd Inauguration (photo credit: ew.com)

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.

To submit interview requests, please write us using the form on our Contact page.

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About Alan

Alan Headbloom is an applied linguist who works with international professionals across a variety of industries.

Learn more about Alan here, and on his website: headbloom.com.

Follow Alan on Twitter: @headbloom

To submit interview requests, please contact us using the form provided on the 'Contact' page. 




COMING NEXT

Fred Lessing: My Clever Mother Helped Save Me During the Holocaust

As a boy, young Alfred Lessing was like most other children in his native Netherlands. He played with friends and loved his family. But there was one difference: he was Jewish. So when the Nazis overran his country in 1940, his mother sprang into action. Her goal: save the family from extermination. Join us for a one-hour special interview as retired professor Fred Lessing talks of love, hiding, and the psychological burdens of Holocaust survival.