Monday, December 01, 2008

Black Christmas

When I was a child, Christmas was very special occasion and not just for the toys. The music was special as well as you only heard it on the radio for a month, then it was over. In the Seventies, Black radio had some classics: Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas", The Emotions' "What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas", The Whispers' "Happy Holidays" and others. But there was one tune that really stood out called "Santa Claus Is A Black Man". It was a cute tune with a little girl telling the story of how she woke up to find not only Santa under the tree, but one with an Afro. All the kids in my neighborhood would sing the song out loud and not one person complained because that's how it was where I grew up. Then, as soon as December 26th happened, the song stopped and would disappear as fast as wrapping on a Evel Kenivel Stunt Show. The song was a radio for many years, but suddenly as it turned into the Eighties, Black radio stopped playing the song during Christmas. Ever since The Temptations' version of "Silent Night" and Run-DMC's "Christmas In Hollis", there hasn't been any other real holiday classics but every year, we roll them all out. Sadly, we just don't play "Santa Claus Is A Black Man".

For years after it disappeared, I would tell all my White friends about the song and of course they laughed at me. For years, I felt like Linus trying to tell the legend of the Great Pumpkin, standing out in the cold patch alone yelling to the world of how wonderful he/she is. Well today, I have my redemption. Thanks to the interweb, I finally found the song today that made me and my family and friends would sing along to during my yesterdays. When there was no Black Friday and no one died during the Christmas rush. The only shoes you wanted were Catheads and everyone had bell bottoms. I even found out the song was done by a little group called The Teddy Vann Production Company and the the little narrator was named Akim. Akim, wherever you are, Merry Christmas to you and thanks. As for the song itself, whether Santa was Black, White, Hispanic, Asian or Martian, whenever you begin to finally grow up, you find out who the real Santa is. It's fun though to still believe in a man who can make children smile for as long as there is a Christmas.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is SOOO cute! Never heard it before, never even heard OF it before.
Tina

Anonymous said...

I could have sworn i heard this playing at the Red and White on Habersham St while I was there buying the fixings for green bean casserole.

Sam said...

Kah3...

NO you did not go there! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It's one of my regular haunts, great music too.