NBA Star, Baron Davis, CEO of the Black Santa Company poses with Black Santa and Mrs. C. with a child at their Christmas celebration at Beast Mode clothing store in downtown Oakland. Photo by Carla Thomas.
Black Santa ushered in the Christmas spirit last Friday in downtown Oakland.Co-hosted by NBA star, Baron Davis, founder of the Black Santa Company, Children and their parents lined up along Broadway between 7th and 8th streets outside of Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode store to take pictures with Black Santa and Mrs.
The toy drive meet and greet featured a pop up shop, Christmas tree giveaway, tree lighting ceremony and a live performance of “Can’t Sleep” by Jason Clas.
“Marshawn and I just wanted to share Christmas with the community and hosting it at his shop was a great fit,” said Davis.
Davis considers Lynch a brother and said the two decided last year to do something different for the community. By hosting the Black Santa event, they want to just take control of the imagery commonly associated with Christmas.
Davis says he created the caricatures and brand to reflect the community, after experiencing the joy of being Santa for his own family and friends.
“With the Black Santa Company we want to be responsible for painting and creating the images our kids see, we want to inspire the youth and show that we are lovely people, we are a beautiful people and we stand together. I want kids and my own children to have characters and stories customized for them that have positive storylines and characters,” he added.
In addition, by expanding the concept to include gifts items and clothing he has big plans for Black Santa and Mrs. C. in the film, music and storytelling arenas.
“This is great for the community and we appreciate Marshawn and Baron for having the vision and continuing to support the community, especially during this time of year,” said Regina Jackson, president of the EOYDC.
Attendees included community leaders such as Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney, Kim Caldwell and Shawn Granberry. The event was also supported by a dozen community partners including the Black Bay Area, the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), SUDA, Serenity House, and Starbucks.
For more information, visit www.BlackSanta.com