Children look up to their parents, superheroes, and even Santa Claus, so it’s not surprising for them to want to meet one that looks like them.
Until the second grade, I wanted to be the tooth fairy when I got older. In my mind, it was a job like any other. Engineer, firefighter, tooth fairy – these were all legitimate options, right? You couldn’t tell me that the tooth fairy wasn’t a real person because where’s the magic in that?
Imagine how I felt when I realized that the tooth fairy had to be a petite, Caucasian female because that’s how she was portrayed any time I came across her. I was sad for a bit, but I licked my wounds and focused on being the next Jasmine instead.
It’s important for children to see their idols in a way they relate to, whether it be the color of their skin or how a person is differently-abled. You can visit these malls in the DMV to take this year’s holiday picture with a black Santa Claus.
Shops at Iverson Mall
3737 Branch Ave, Hillcrest Heights, MD 20748 | Website
The Shops at Iverson Mall has a long history of hosting black Santas for the season – in fact, mall goers can’t remember a time when they didn’t have a black Santa Claus visiting the mall.
People come from far and wide so their kids can sit on Santa’s lap – a Santa that they relate to – and tell him what they want for Christmas that year.
Mall at Prince George’s
3500 East-West Hwy, Hyattsville, MD 20782 | Website
Children visiting the Mall at Prince George’s always smile just a little bit wider when they see that Santa Claus looks like them. The mall has had an African-American Santa Claus fly down from the North Pole for decades, delighting kids in the process.
At this mall, Santa Claus represents so much more than an old man with gifts; Santa represents diversity and culture and will continue to do so for years to come.
2401 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215 | Website
Visiting Santa Luke is a highly-anticipated Christmas tradition for many Baltimore families. Santa Luke has been bringing joy and cheer to children for over 40 years.
73-year-old Lucas Durant is the longest running black Santa in Baltimore, and probably, the nation. He has spent half his life putting smiles on the faces of kids who flock to see him and tell him whether they’ve been naughty or nice that year. Catch him in his crisp red suit at Mondawmin Mall every holiday season.