With shortage of black Santas, Minnesota brings in a ringer

Photo courtesy of Santa Larry Jefferson

It’s a step forward that the Mall of America has hired its first black Santa Claus, but the news today also comes with a question: Is there nobody of color in Minnesota who can be Santa Claus?

The Star Tribune reports that the owner of a photography studio looked all over the country for a black Santa and finally found one from Texas. He signed black Santa to a four-day deal at the mall.

“This is a long time coming,” Landon Luther, co-owner of the Santa Experience, tells the Strib. “We want Santa to be for everyone, period.”

Luther says 1,000 Santa Claus actors showed up at a convention in Branson, Missouri (see video above). Only one was black.

So Luther signed Larry Jefferson, of Irving, Texas.