Sonia Manzano’s smile and voice are instantly recognizable for millions of people in the United States who grew up watching Sesame Street. Her character “Maria” became a ‘friend’ for many children, as did all of the humans and monsters on the iconic and culturally significant show, Sesame Street. Manzano was on Sesame Street for 44 seasons as an actress, writer, advisor, and teacher. She was the first Latinx writer on the show and regularly found ways to bring in her Nuyorican culture into the dialogue and situations.
In this NPR interview, Manzano reflects on her time on the show and her impact on US family life.