Workshop course

Black Santa Workshop at West Orange aims to ensure children have positive portrayal and inclusion

With less than two weeks before Christmas, an event at West Orange helped the kids get into the spirit and feel included.

The Black Santa Workshop at Rock Spring Golf Course was all about advancing inclusiveness when it comes to Santa Claus and positive portrayal.

The event featured black fathers dressed up as Santa Claus along with all the holiday basics like cookie decorating, holiday inspired arts and crafts, and kids writing letters to Santa. The children were also photographed with the black Santa Claus, who, in this event, is more representative of the communities from which they come.

“The options weren’t many, and I didn’t see him grow up, and I just want to teach my kids that they matter and that they can be seen in different things that aren’t normally there,” he said. said Yvonne Green, Brooklyn, New York. “I am very happy that they can see each other.”

His feelings were echoed by many parents present at the event, as many families came not only from New Jersey but across the Hudson in search of a Santa Claus more representative of their communities.

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“We’re a multiracial family and we thought it was important for us to see both sides because a lot of the places we’ve been to are a bit more suited to the more typical Santa presentation,” Jennifer said. Reid, from New Town, New York.

Talia Young, a mother of two, started the Black Santa Workshop three years ago because she felt there wasn’t enough representation in the Christmas pictures and wanted to fill the void on the Marlet.

“It’s not just a vacation experience for black people, it’s for everyone, but it’s really important for us, our family and our community to have meaningful representation,” Young said.

Dr Ijeom Opara, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Yale, said that between ages 4 and 8 – children have what is called “magical thinking” – when reality and fantasy are still blurry and the Positive imagery can shape their perception as they get older.

“We are programmed as human beings to want to see ourselves and be represented,” Opara said. “So when it comes to seeing a black Santa Claus for a black kid, that kid being able to see himself and seeing someone who is of my race can be as powerful as Santa Claus.”