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This is Problematic!

Jan 4, 2023

Dr Fletcher is back for our final episode of the season! The history of Sesame Street is the topic of today’s conversation. Back in 1969 when the show was launched it was focused on underserved children to supplement absent preschool services. However, today it’s been moved behind a paywall. So, let’s figure out how we got to Sesame Street and where it’s headed…

Show Notes:

Dr Charlene Fletcher:

Her website:


You can read a chapter of her work here:


Keep an eye out for her upcoming book: Confined Femininity: Race, Gender, and Incarceration in Kentucky, 1865-1920 from University of North Carolina Press

Our Sources:

Greene, Bryan. “The Unmistakable Black Roots of Sesame Street”, Smithsonian Magazine (November 7th, 2019), accessed at ‘“Sesame Street” Debuts’, This Day in History, accessed at,year%2Dolds%20prepare%20for%20kindergarten.


Lepore, Jill. “How we got to Sesame Street.” The New Yorker (May 11th, 2020), accessed at

Tierney, Joan D. “The Miracle on Sesame Street”, Phi Delta Kappan (January, 1971), Vol. 52, No. 5, accessed at