Sesame Street and the Cultural Politics of the Spoken Word in the 1970s
Author: Kathryn Ostrofsky, Freelance Historian
Comment: Victoria Cain, Northeastern University
Tuesday 29 October
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215
Sesame Street’s creators, audiences, and social activists all tried to use the popular television program as a tool to shape American society. The resulting discussions reveal that the sound of the spoken word played an important role in media representations of culture and community. People contested the messages conveyed by working-class accents, African American slang, and the Spanish language as they encouraged Sesame Street to embody Great Society liberalism or to engender a pluralistic society.
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