Named among the “25 Greatest Latino Role Models Ever” by Latina Magazine, Sonia Manzano broke ground as one of the first Hispanic characters on national television. Throughout her career, she has continued to contribute to enriching diversity on television, on the stage, and in the educational realm. A first generation America of Latin descent, Manzano’s tale is one of perseverance and courage as she overcame countless obstacles to become one of the most influential Latinas in television.
Manzano was raised in the South Bronx, where her involvement in the arts was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to audition for the High School of Performing Arts. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon Univerisity in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year she came to New York to star in the original production of the legendary off-Broadway show Godspell.
Within a year, Manzano joined the production of Sesame Street, where she eventually began writing scripts for the series. She was thrilled to help write the story line for Maria’s marriage and birth of Maria’s baby, played for a while by Manzano’s real-life daughter Gabriela.
Sonia Manzano has twice been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. Manzano has appeared on stage in several critically acclaimed theater performances, including The Vagina Monologues, The Exonerated, and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Movies include Deathwish, Follow That Bird, and Elmo in Grouchland.
Manzano has won 15 Emmys as part of the Sesame Street writing team and also wrote for the Peabody Award-winning children’s series Little Bill. Continuing to inspire children off screen, Manzano’s children’s book, No Dogs Allowed, was selected by the General Mills initiative “Spoonfuls of Stories” to become a children’s musical to encourage childhood literacy. Her first young adult novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, examines the Latino community during the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of a young girl coming of age in the midst of social upheaval in Spanish Harlem in 1969. The book was a Pura Belpre Award winner.
Kirkus Reciews called her recently released memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, a “lyrical and unflinching account of her tough Nuyorican upbringing in the South Bronx,” and calls it a “touching memoir.” Kirkus Reviews says “Manzano lovingly details life-changing moments,” with a “stark and heartbreaking contrast to her Sesame Street character.”
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.