Black Santa Claus dads are an anomaly and photos of them are flooding our social media feeds.
Let’s be honest, Christmas wasn’t invented by Black people. Santa Clause was invented by Northern Europeans of the Anglo-Saxon period and is a composite of multiple ideological figures throughout their history.
These include familiar names like Saint Nicholas who was a 4th century Greek God who was a “gift-giver,” The British figure of Father Christmas, the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, also based on Saint Nicholas, and reaching to the Germanic deity Odin who and the midwinter pagan event of Yule.
In Western culture today, the legendary character of Santa Clause has transformed. Santa can be heavy-set or slim, short or tall, as well as Black or Brown. But the story remains the same, as gift-giving is in the core message of the storytelling.
The Black Santa Company, founded by former NBA guard, Baron Davis, was created to celebrate the diversity in the world through that same storytelling, and the Santa Claus narrative.
A character-focused imagination, positivity, and a year-round giving program engage with communities and children, led by the Black Santa and Mrs. C, or Cecilia, characters.
What #BlackSanta has been, in households and on social media, is Black men and dads dressed as Santa Claus sharing their giving spirit with their followers.
Pictures of men at department stores with multiple shopping carts full of toys and food, home video of dads gifting family members, all showcasing the giving spirit of the Christmas holiday. It highlights the Black father figure in a nurturing manner in addition to the holiday charm.
The Northwest African American Museum in Seattle doesn’t even let the pandemic hinder their Christmas spirit as they hosted their annual Black Santa event via video chat.
The museum takes value in the representation of the character and the spirit of the holiday. Their executive director of the museum, LaNesha DeBardelaben said, “We have been hurting, and this joyful moment allows us to move to a place of healing and hope.”
In Black communities, Black Santa has been perpetuated for families invoking inclusiveness and representation. An example is The Kennedy family in Arkansas who put up a 7-foot inflatable Black Santa on their lawn with their Christmas decorations.
They were ambushed by a piece of mail that was falsely postmarked from their Lakewood Property Owners Association facility. The letter was written from the perspective of Santa Claus and said:
“Please remove your negro Santa Claus yard decoration. You should try not to deceive children into believing that I am negro. I am a caucasian (white man, to you) and have been for the past 600 years. Your being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty. Besides that, you are making yourself the laughing stock of the neighborhood. Obviously, your values are not that of the Lakewood area and maybe you should move to a neighborhood out east with the rest of your racist kind.”
The note actually brought the community closer together, as much as the author was hoping to bring them down.
And the sender was undetermined. This type of closed mind thinking is the route and existence of Black Santa’s character. He has been portrayed by actors and athletes, seen as old or young, and can be mature and classy, or traditional and gullible.
Check out this photo of a snazzy Black Santa
If you’re having a hard time gifting this season, then no worries. The Black Santa Company allows for others to gift those through their platform. You can “bless someone” with some Black Santa merchandise.
You can also get wrapping paper for your presents, as well as a facemask, and home decor. Share some of your favorite Black Santa moments leading up to the Christmas Holiday. (Shop Here)
And to Black dads out there keep the Black Santa fits, photos and videos coming. We’re here for it!