Here’s a secret thing you may not know about most Trinidadians in their thirties and forties—we’re all closet Sesame Street fanatics. If you grew up in Trinidad in the 70's or 80's, you were raised on a steady diet of Sesame Street re-runs. I can honestly say that Susan (played by Dr. Loretta Long) and Olivia (played by Alaina Reed Hall) helped to shape my sensibilities about who I was, and gave me a reflection of black beauty at an age and stage when I needed it. Here are five Sesame Street hair memories that made an impact on me forever.
Dr. Loretta Long was one of the first cast members of Sesame Street—she is one of only three characters who were on the show since episode one! Early Susan rocked her hair in a soft bouffant, typical of that sixties-into-seventies era.
Before 227, Alaina Reed Hall was known and adored as Olivia on Sesame Street. Olivia made quite an impression on young Afrobella because she rocked long, beautiful braids. And she was one of the best singers on the show!
One of my favorite recurring cartoons on Sesame Street in the 80’s was Billy Joe Jive and his partner Smart Susie Sunset. These two “super crime fighting aces” had awesome afros and style, and solved the case every time.
The I Love My Hair clip came long after I was a grown woman, but I LOVED it. I Love My Hair became a big hit and spawned some highly coveted teeshirts. Here’s hoping Sesame Street continues to be that window of diversity for little black girls around the world for many years to come!