What?! No Black Santas!

Years ago I started collecting African American Santas and Christmas ornaments. At that time these items were extremely hard to find. Whenever and wherever I traveled, I would visit a Christmas shop. After perusing the shop, I would ask in a loud voice, “Where are your black Santas?”

The shop owner would reply in a whisper, “We don’t have any black Santas.”

“What!!? No Black Santas!” I would say in my most shocked and indignant voice. I would mutter something about the shop not being well stocked.

My personal protest against not recognizing African American buying power continued for many years. Now I am happy to say that it is very easy to find black Santas and Christmas ornaments.

My early ventures into quilt shops brought back my memories of NO BLACK SANTAS. Five years ago, my daughter was very young and I was into juvenile prints. I would search and search for prints with cute little brown children on them. Surprisingly, they were hard to find. It didn’t even occur to me at that time to look for African prints amongst the Thimbleberries and the Debbie Mumms. Lately, I’ve discovered a small shift in quilt shop inventories that recognize that African American quilters have buying power. We don’t want to lose momentum though. The next time you go into a quilt shop, ask in a strong voice, “Where are your African prints?”

Take a look at one of my early quilts called India’s Prima Ballerina Stars. It was one of the few prints I could find that had little brown ballerinas.

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