For the first time in its 24 years, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota will serve host to a black Santa. Texas native Larry Jefferson performed his Christmas duties during a four day stint at the mall, bringing joy and spirit to his job. For Jefferson, being Santa has been a life long job. When he was 12, his father, suffering from a bad back, asked the young Jefferson to help him place presents for his 11 siblings under the Christmas Tree. Even while serving in the Army reserves as a captain for 30 years, Jefferson become the holiday’s Santa for the troops
According to the Washington Post, “One woman told Jefferson she had been waiting 25 years to see a black Santa. Other families told him they had driven hours just so that their kids could meet him.”
With all the positives to the role, there are some negatives. "Some companies aren’t ready to hire a black Santa or a Hispanic Santa,” Jefferson explained.
Despite this, the reception for Jefferson has been mostly positive. At least for one day, all of his appointments were booked! But to him, it’s about bring cheer, and a bit of perspective to America. "I’m really humbled by it,” he said, chuckling. “Everyone’s making a big deal about this because I’m a black Santa. But gosh, I’m just Santa!”
No Mr Jefferson, you’re not just another Santa, you’re a symbol of acceptance.