While some are still trying to come to terms with the fact that Santa can be any color, a community in New Orleans has had a Black Santa for decades.
The 7th Ward Black Santa has been around for almost 45 years and Fred Parker, the man who wears Santa's suit, has had a major impact on the community. Generations of community members know Parker; some even know him from his days as a school bus drive. Back then, Parker would treat children to McDonald's on the day before Christmas break. Now, the 74-year-old dresses up every year to put a smile on children's faces for the holidays.
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Parker's impact has been so great that many community members call visiting him every Christmas a "rite of passage."
Fred is so beloved in the community that a Twitter thread was started where people could share photos of their kids with him and their stories of meeting the 7th Ward's Black Santa.
If you're from New Orleans 9/10 you got pic with this Santa 😂 pic.twitter.com/4YHeDoQPQV— Everything NOLA (@504Reminisce) December 21, 2016
What Fred does every year is truly wonderful and it's great to know that generations of residents have always had a Santa who looks like them.