For nearly a decade, Patterson has been the main attraction at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza during Christmastime: a rare black Santa Claus in a sea of white ones.
The mall, located in the heart of black Los Angeles, is one of the few in the country with a black Santa Claus. Some say Patterson is the only black shopping-mall Santa Claus in the Los Angeles area.
As visitors approached him on a recent afternoon, it was hard to tell who was more excited: the youngsters or the adults. The parents are the most loyal. They return with grandchildren, passing on a family tradition with a deep personal meaning.
"We need our kids to understand that good things happen in chocolate skin," said Til Prince, 50, of Palmdale, watching her granddaughter, niece and her niece’s son pose with Patterson. "We are often bombarded with the opposite. We’re not trying to exclude anybody, but [instead] celebrate our chocolate skin."
Patterson’s place in the Christmas traditions of black families seems only to have increased as the African American population of Los Angeles continues to decline amid waves of Latino immigration. The Crenshaw mall now has both a black Santa and a Spanish-speaking Latino Santa, a nod to the demographic shift.
"We make a point to stay in tune with our community," said Rachel Erickson, the mall’s marketing director.
"I just don’t want [my godson] to think that all greatness comes from a different race," said Graves, 45. "There’s Santa Clauses his color doing good work, too."
I’m here for this.
LOVE! Maybe I would have been into Santa photos as a kid if there was a black Santa nearby.
What mens rights dudes should do
- Support men in abusive relationships
- Fair child child support
- Encouraging men to speak up about rape
When mens rights guys mostly do
- shout at women on the internet
- call women bitches when they don’t want to date them
friendly reminder that your trans identity is no less valid if you started having gender feelings after joining tumblr. Learning what being trans is and what it means for other people can be a big part of exploring your gender, and can be very helpful in figuring out who you are. just because you found that out through a social networking website doesn’t mean your identity isn’t real and valid and important
Every year my friends make funny Christmas cards together and send it to me and it’s kind of a big fat “ha ha, you weren’t invited.”
I think it’s time to find new friends