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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 published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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