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The Business of Being Black Santa

The Business of Being Black Santa

By CultureBanx Team

  • Roughly 3% percent of all professional Santas in the U.S. are African American

  • Black Santas across the country can command nearly $400 or more per hour

For decades, black families have searched for a Santa that reflects them and their community to capture holiday memories. Despite the fact that St. Nick is a fictional character, black Santas across the country can command nearly $400 or more per hour for their services. As the Christmas holiday rolls around again black Santas remain booked, busy and sometimes hard to find.

Black Santa.jpg

Why This Matters: The issue is they still remain difficult to come by because roughly 3% percent of all professional Santas in the U.S. are African American, according to Tim Connaghan, who runs the RealSantas.com. A shortage of black Santas could be attributed to the high costs of getting into the business.

Most professional Santas  provide their own suits, which could cost upwards of $500. Additionally, there could be other qualifications like only having real bearded Santas for jobs, which may require beard bleaching for white whiskers and that can run several hundred dollars. There’s also the cost of attending Santa school, a place like The Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, which Cris Cringle’s have dubbed the "Harvard of Santa schools," is $520.

2 Chainz Dabbin Santa Sweater.jpg

The business of black Santa is bigger than just taking memorable holiday pictures as rapper 2 Chainz discovered. His ‘Dabbing Santa’ ugly Christmas sweaters, portraying black Santas made $2.1 million in just 30 days.

Situational Awareness: Black Santas aren’t always expected or accepted. For instance, the Mall of America in Minneapolis chose its first black Santa, Larry Jefferson, for the holiday season to promote diversity in 2016. This decision was met with immediate harsh backlash online. Some stores like Macy’s (M -2.62%) in New York City actually hide their black Santa, you have to make a special request in order to take a picture with him.

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