CHARLESTON, S.C. – One thing on the Charleston NAACP's wish list this holiday season is more black Santas.
"People don't want to talk about it. Santa is never black," said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
She said children see white Santas at Christmas parades, malls and holiday festivals and it's time for black children to see someone who looks like them.
"I believe that kids need to understand that good things come in black, too," she said.
Scott called the local Northwoods Mall and was referred to the Cherry Hill, N.J., company that provides the mall Santa, Cherry Hill Photo.
"We hire the person who is best qualified for the position without regard for race," Cherry Hill Photo said in a statement. "We do not analyze nor attempt to match the demographics of a market area when hiring any employee."
Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas said he has never received a call about a black Santa in a quarter century of organizing the local Christmas Parade.
"I never thought very much about it," Thomas said.
But the city's Holiday Magic celebration at Marion Square on the edge of the historic district alternates black and white Santas.
It also has a black Mrs. Claus and black elves, said Ellen Dressler Moryl, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs.
"We reflect the community," she said.