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.
To submit interview requests, please write us using the form on our Contact page.
Click on the icons located in the sidebar to the right to follow Feel Like You Belong on social media or to sign up for our eNewsletter.
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.
Prof. Yan Yu: Teaching Culture, Living Culture
Sociologist Yan Yu understands what it's like to be a fish out of water. She and her husband moved to the U.S. over 25 years ago. During her day job, she teaches American students to think about the rules imposed on behavior by society. In her volunteer time, she advocates for the local Chinese language school, performs ethnic dances, and reflects on the nature of belonging.