Thousands Of People Love This Black Santa & His Remarkable Story Is Unheard Of
For The O’Jays, “Christmas just ain’t Christmas, without the one you love.” However, for thousands of kids in New Orleans, La., Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the real life Black 7th ward Santa. His name is Fred Parker, he’s 75 years old, and has been bringing a helluva amount of Christmas joy to kids and their parents for many decades -45 years to be exact- in the 7th ward neighborhood of N.O.
Santa is a black man, and he lives in New Orleans
— VICE News (@vicenews) December 22, 2017
So obviously, Akim & Teddy obviously had it right when in 1973, they soulfully sang: “Santa Claus is a Black man, Santa Claus is a Back man and he’s handsome, like my daddy too”…
Fred Parker has become so popular as Black Santa in the N.O., that parents who once sat on his lap to take their Christmas photo when they were youngins, now bring their kids to do the same thing. It’s the one chance in New Orleans that many African American kids will have the opportunity to truly believe that there is a Santa Claus who looks like them as well. That sentiment is shared by many parents, such as N.O. residents, Dione Joseph-Breckenridge and Kimberly Davis, who told Nola.com they’re happy to have a Black Santa for their children:
Resident Dione Joseph-Breckenridge told VICE that Parker’s role was important because it gives black children a character they can relate to. Her comments were echoed by resident Kimberly Davis. “For me, this is just really about representation, and so this was a part of my childhood and I want to share that with him so when he grows up he’ll be like ‘Yeah, Santa Claus is a black man,” Davis told VICE when referring to her son’s experience with Parker.
Black Santa a.k.a. Fred Parker was once a school bus driver and now he spends his Christmas holidays sometimes having to convince a few skeptical children that he’s the “real” Santa, LOL. Here’s how:
“So I tell them, ‘Pull this beard off my face,’” says Parker.
Parents on Twitter also love to reminisce and proudly boast on their kids now crossing that bridge to create their own Black Santa memory:
Ask any black kid in New Orleans who took pics with a Black Santa over the past 25 years and I bet it's the same person.
— ⚜Suit Gawd, MPA (@Fresh_Logic) March 18, 2017
— Mic (@mic) December 23, 2016
— J. Bracy II (@super_von) December 22, 2016
— Killa (@BrysonJohnson_) December 22, 2016
First Santa that doesn't give me the creeps. He looks like the sweetest man. Look how happy the little ones… https://t.co/nJjffnubnz
— Nexus Dei (@NexusDei) December 23, 2017
— Shawn Trimble (@freedomsdrum) December 23, 2017
It would be great for children of all races- Black, White, Latino, Asian, etc.- to have a Santa Claus who represents them. Although we have yet to see a Santa for each race become as popular as the one Black Santa the kids in New Orleans get to see, it’s a great start with the legacy Fred Parker continues to build. Merry Christmas ILOSM family.