by Jess Bielman 1K Lives Impacted Portland, Oregon, United States
I originally started doing Black Santa because I wanted to further the idea of representation. Although Santa is a mythical figure, it is impo...
I originally started doing Black Santa because I wanted to further the idea of representation. Although Santa is a mythical figure, it is important that black children and children of color can see themselves in that figure. He brings alive imagination. Everything in this country whether mythical or real is usually portrayed as white, if the person that comes bringing joy, presents, and laughter, and engages imagination is only a white figure that is a problem. For these reasons, Black Santa began to take shape in my heart.
An additional dynamic began to emerge when I moved to the Pacific Northwest. The significance of Black Santa became apparent in a new way. I began to notice many of the Black kids on my lap had white parents. It seems that one of the communities that is taking advantage of Black Santa is white families that have fostered or adopted Black children. I have many thoughts about the implications on cultural identity theory as it relates to white families raising children of color. I do think that bringing them to Black Santa shows some awareness of the need to find resources outside themselves in order to responsibly rear these children in the US American context.