How to Find Black Santa Near You
Jihan Woods is a psychiatrist, so she understands the depth of a child’s development.
The mental health advocate believes black children have better self esteem and learning habits when exposed to figures — fictitious and otherwise — of their own race. So when she continuously struggled to find a Black Santa Claus for her twin sons, the Dallas, Texas, mom created an app for that.
Find Black Santa shows you a directory of where you can meet the holly, jolly fella in your area. Simply select your state on the free locator app, and it will provide a list of nearby venues for 35 states and Washington, D.C.
The results are curated from various public sources, according to the app’s FAQs. If you have a black Santa event, you can email Woods at email@example.com to have it added to the app.
Find Black Santa reached more than 13,500 downloads when it launched a couple of years ago.
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Technology isn’t Woods’ first area of expertise, so it took months of research to get Find Black Santa off of the ground. In 2018, she reached her KickStarter campaign’s fundraising goal of $5,000 in 30 days, according to an article on WBALTV.com.
“I’m a doctor by trade, so technology was definitely out of my comfort zone,” Woods wrote on Find Black Santa’s Instagram page. She juggles a career in medicine, a growing business and motherhood.
But developing this easy-to-use app was necessary to ensure black children had exposure to a Black Santa. Representation matters in Woods’ household.
“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 television station WBAL.
Find Black Santa merchandise is also available on Woods’ Etsy shop.