Last weekend in the Queen City was super busy! And we loved every minute of it! I tell ya, there is never a dull moment in the QC!
As a 70’s baby, I grew up in mainstream -everything! Every depiction of Santa that we saw — from television to movies to storybooks — shows that rosy-faced, jolly grandpa who is unapologetically white. He looked nothing like me. Am I not generous?
Am I not generous? Are others like me, not givers? At a certain age, I think it does matter subliminally and he’s not just a jolly, ole fat guy in a red suit.
Is it possible that a long, white beard, the big-bellied man in red with dark skin would not appeal to children in predominantly black and Hispanic parts of the city?
Well, a few of my children and I got to see for ourselves this weekend. We attend two events and both had a positive turn out!
The first was Pride Entrepreneur Education Program, (PEEP) it’s a nonprofit of Pride Magazine. They had the happiest SoulfFul Santa on the Westside there. The crafts table was there to reinforce the holiday spirt by giving children the opportunity to create gifts for their loved ones.
The other event was at the Free Store Charlotte. It was outdoors and loaded with fun! From face painting, coat drives, amazing hot fancy and filling food complete with cocoa, jump house, fire pit, free gift table, and so much more.
Did You Know: The Mall of America – the country’s biggest indoor shopping complex – decided to hire a black Santa for the first time this year!
I wanted to know how some of my mom friends thought about ethnic Santa’s. So I spoke with three of them from my mom group, Queen City Stay At Home Moms and each had very interesting responses.
The first mom said: “We balk at the notion that our children should believe that a white man brings them toys, when we ( black parents) are the ones working hard to make their children feel safe, loved and happy/ “
The second mom asked, “Why can’t there be two at each at a time? Like half brothers? When I was small enough to believe in Santa, he was dressed so completely, including the beard, that I could see only his eyes behind thick glasses. I could not see, nor did I care, what skin color he was. I would definitely take my children to go see an Asian Santa,”
The last mom commented:” Santa’s race matters. White folk have enough superheroes. I’m white, but have no tolerance for the abysmal prejudice and past treatment of people of color in this country.”
Although we do not celebrate Christmas, I wanted my children to see that the Santa doesn’t have to look only one way. Santa can be whatever they want him to be. Looking at my littlest Noah’s face, he may never want to go see Santa again, but he has photographic evidence that Santa can reflect the skin tones of many cultures. And that’s, well, pretty magical.
To see more culturally diverse Santas all you have to do is show up when he’s in town. Charlotte organizations like PEEPs, and The Free Store Charlotte will continue to invite him in our hearts, centers, businesses and home!
You can find children’s books that feature a black Santa Claus, and he appears in some ornaments and other products. The website blacksanta.com, founded by the former N.B.A. player Baron Davis, sells products like T-shirts, hats and ornaments featuring images of black Santa. In a classic episode of “The Cosby Show,” Dr. Huxtable explains to one of the children that as Santa drops down each chimney, his race morphs to match that of the family he’s visiting – Asian, African-American, Caucasian and so on. -By The NYTimes