Santa is Black

Did you know that Santa is Black? Jelani does. He knows people who have met the *real* Santa, and they all describe him the same way: Black, proud, and full of kindness.

Jelani lives in Chicago. On the South Side, where Jelani lives, there is a lot of Black Santa History. In the 1960’s, Black Santa was an icon of liberation, and a major star of Operation Breadbasket’s Black Christmas Parade.

Just like in “My Brother Santa; Great Granddaddy’s Christmas Storytelling Magic,” Black Santa’s story is even bigger than Chicago! In Florida, the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum hosts a “BRING OUT THE DOLLS, BALLS AND BOOKS EVENT” that features “a wide collection of African American Santas and Angels.” In Minnesota at Mall of America, Santa Larry has made history in their state. In New Orleans, the 7th Ward’s Black Santa Fred Parker has been around for 45 years.

As far back as 1990, journalism professor and documentary filmmaker, Frank Harris III described the importance of Black Santa: “It may seem a small matter to some, but amid the many signals my daughter will receive in her lifetime in a predominantly white society, I want to ensure that she has a healthy image of herself as an individual and as a member of the largest and most identifiable minority group in America. I do not want her becoming one of those statistics that show black children preferring white dolls to the dolls that look like her… That is why the search is on for a black Santa. An African-American Santa. A Santa the color of her.”

Learn more about the history of Black Santa in the United States:

CHICAGO – Why It’s Necessary To Find A Black Santa

CHICAGO – Breadbasket and The 1968 Black Christmas Parade

FLORIDA – Justice For All: The Rise Of Black Santa

MINNESOTA – Santa Larry Is Back At Mall Of America

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans’ Black 7th Ward Santa Has Been Making Kids Smile For Almost 45 Years

MEMPHIS – ‘Santa can be any color’: Memphis’ black mall Santa brings visitors from across the South

MASSACHUSETTS – Black Santa Season: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

DALLAS -Black Santas are helping to change holiday icons and add more representation

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