Even though Christmas has become an amalgamation of many cultural celebrations, the anglo-white version gets the widest play. But true Christians welcome all comers to the fold. So let’s go black (we might never come back) with Akim and Teddy Vann’s 1973 “Santa Claus is a Black Man.” Get adorable, get funky.
On a community stage with a slowly warming audience, GloZell leads guilty white West Coast Singers in a rousing (tinny recording of) “Black Christmas.” Now we see what black means to faith, hope, charity, and novelty Christmas songs.
More audible and just as reactionary, The Harlem Children’s Chorus sing “Black Christmas.” They do make a point, they just don’t make a beautiful song. Richard Wolfe has a more honest version that testifies.
Motown, mo’ music! The Emotions sing “Black Christmas” with angelic harmonies and soft-pedaled race relations. Just how soulful white people want to buy it.