But since Sesame Street first aired in 1969, it hasn't solely existed as a weekly children's show. Here are six of the biggest ways Sesame Street has impacted culture through its programming. Since its inception, Sesame Street has been rooted in African American culture, more specifically the historically Black community of Harlem. Sesame Street was the first show that said \"it was okay to make kids sad\" when discussing tough topics. Sesame Street realized, Memory said, that \"it was okay to make kids feel sad\" when discussing these tough topics.