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Sonia Manzano “Maria” on Sesame Street Author

Women and Adversity: Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street

   I haven’t watched “Sesame Street” for decades, and I don’t even remember the non-muppet, live character Maria. I had no idea that Sonia Manzano played the part and had been associated with Sesame Street for 44 years until she retired this past summer.

Manzano is promoting her memoir,”Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.” I heard her speak in a television interview, and I was fascinated.

As a Latina, she said that growing up she didn’t know where she fit in. Her home life was not peaceful. She witnessed domestic violence, ferocity, alcoholism and revolting incidences, which were confusing to a growing girl. She became enthralled with television, which portrayed lives very different from her own. Despite her background, Manzano rose above the stresses and conflicts in her life and pursued her dream to become an actress. She became an accomplished, award-winning actress and author of several children’s books. Now she said she wants to continue writing.

Manzano is an inspiration, not just to Latinas, but to all women who are striving to reach their goals. Read about her at:


Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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