Seeing Santa in Black and White

Seeing Santa in Black and White

The New York Times

Sa’iyda Shabazz

Sa’iyda Shabazz and her son visited the black Santa at Macy’s Herald Square store last week.

When my friend posted an adorable picture of her son with a black Santa in New York City, I was drawn to the idea of visiting a Santa who reflected my family’s skin tones. I’m black, and my 3-year-old son’s father is white. I am raising him as a single mom with the help of my parents. Why should white Santa be the default?

Of course, you can find children’s books that feature a black Santa Claus, and he appears in some ornaments and other products. The website, 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.

It’s a nice sentiment, but the reality is that black Santas are pretty hard to find. When the Mall of America in Minnesota enlisted a black Santa this year, he was popular with children but his presence prompted an unpleasant racial backlash online

Read the entire article here.

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