Family spreads diverse Christmas cheer with Black Santa photoshoots at Raleigh studio

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We all have holiday traditions, but now one local family is turning theirs into a business, with the hope of spreading diverse Christmas cheer.

Larry Stroud’s 3- and 5-year-old granddaughters wondered why there was no Santa Claus who looked like them. Stroud’s daughter requested he dress up so the girls could see a Black Santa Claus.

“Black kids can relate more to Black Santa Claus, Santa sort of improves and helps their image and also helps their self-esteem,” Stroud said.

Santa is not just spreading Christmas cheer to his grandchildren. His daughter, Marla Stroud, and her friend, Meeka Boand, turned it into a business called Our Black Santa. Our Black Santa will be doing professional photoshoots at a studio in Raleigh for the first two weekends in December.

“It’s cool to have both Santas, Black Santa, white Santa, it shouldn’t be a color attached to it, but since we were always raised just seeing one Santa we figured we’d diversify,” Marla Stroud said.

Boand designed the set. She said it’s not only geared towards children but any adults who need a holiday backdrop.

Santa’s suit is even getting a custom beard.

“A black person wouldn’t have a white beard, so we made this beard very authentic, so it looks like a real black Santa,” Stroud said.

While delivering toys is always a top priority for Santa, he hopes to bring a greater gift to children this year.

“I hope they take away the experience that I see somebody like me and in seeing somebody like me, I feel more connected, and also it brings a smile on their face,” Stroud said.

The photo sessions are $97. Click here for information on how to sign up.

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