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.
Dr. Elysia James: Defining Oneself
"Nevisian" and "Kittitian" are not demonyms that roll off the tongue as readily as "Canadian" or "American." But when you’re from the two-island nation of Nevis and St. Kitts, that’s what you call yourself. Canadian-born, Caribbean-rooted neurologist Elysia James takes time from her busy schedule to join Alan in the FLYB studio. They talk about kickboxing, owning one’s identity, and crossing boundaries and cultures.