There is a new app for parents looking to take their kids to visit a Black Santa—and it was created by a Black woman.
Jihan Woods developed the app after struggling for years to find a Santa Claus for her twin sons near her home in Texas.
So Woods launched a Kickstarter campaign last year to fund her black Santas locator app. After raising $5,000 in 30 days, the Dallas psychiatrist developed “Find Black Santa,” an app that lists Santas in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
“I really wanted my children to see a Santa Claus that looks like them. It’s important to me that they experience diversity in all aspects of their lives, Santa included,” Woods, a psychiatrist, states on the website devoted to the free app.
According to CBS News, studies show that children with a positive attitude about their own racial identity do better in school and are less likely to engage in risky behavior. Experiencing a Black Santa is an important aspect of that.
“Specifically for black children, it’s really important in racial and ethnic development that children see figures — whether it’s in the media, a mystical figure, like, Santa — because it’s really helpful for their development,” Woods told WBAL.
This is why Black parents drive up to an hour to the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, to see a black Santa, executive director Terri Lipsey Scott told CBS News.
“The turnout is incredible,” Scott told CBS. “There are so few options as it relates to the availability of having an African-American Santa.”