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First Black Female Puppeteer of Sesame Street

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Sesame Street is a renowned children’s show that almost every youngster in the country is familiar with.

Since its inception in 1969, the show has seen generations of youngsters develop and become professionals.

It wasn’t until last year, however, that the company decided to hire a full-time Black female puppeteer.

Megan Piphus Peace was the first Black female to work on the popular children’s show.

The 29-year-old expressed her thankfulness for being chosen by the production. The casting is especially significant for Peace since it made her a part of large entertainment production and the first colored female cast member.

“I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be on Sesame Street and encourage other kids to dream as big as their imaginations will allow. I always dreamed of working in television, but I never imagined myself being at Sesame Street,” Peace shared.

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A passion growing up

Piphus Peace has always been fascinated with puppetry. Her childhood ambition was to become a puppeteer and play in front of an audience.

She recalls being invited to a puppetry conference by a woman in their church when she first encountered the art of puppeteering. Throughout the seminar, she was astounded by how the ladies used the puppets to become their voices.

When Peace returned home, she addressed her parents and informed them she wanted to pursue ventriloquism.

“I had never seen a ventriloquist before. And at the time, I didn’t realize that Shari Lewis, one of my idols … was a ventriloquist until I was much older because she was so good,” Piphus Peace recounted.

Peace went on to say that she was always happy to see Lamb Chop, a character from the show “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along,” which she grew up watching.

“Lamb Chop was my friend, and Shari was just her friend too. I realized I found my passion in making children laugh and smile through puppetry.”

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The first black female puppeteer of Sesame Street

“It’s a matter of representation. It’s not very often that you see women puppeteers in general and also Black women puppeteers. I can probably count on one hand the number that there are,” Peace shared.

She hopes that her inclusion on the program’s roster will encourage other individuals and women of color to walk into the spotlight and exhibit their skills.

After all, it was Black women on television shows who originally motivated her to follow a career in the entertainment world.

“One of the lessons that we have was on using your voice. It speaks subtly to equity. You know, we didn’t have Gabrielle go into the camera and say, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ She says that we all have a voice that matters, and we can use our voice.”

“I want her confidence to just shine through the screen, so that little girls and boys around the world are filled with confidence in themselves.”

Photo Credit: Zach Hyman

Source: NPR

Jeah Lorraine Adams has been a writer for the past two decades. She is also a mom of two.

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