Columnist: Forget Kwanzaa, Go With Black Santas

Discussion
Dec 11, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Tannette Johnson-Elie, columnist with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, writes that retailers trying to connect with African-American consumers would be better served running ads “featuring a black Santa” rather “than one highlighting Kwanzaa.”


Ms. Johnson-Elie suggests that in the effort to be politically correct, retailers have spent more on Kwanzaa promotions and merchandise than is warranted. She writes, “To be truthful, more African-Americans are into Christmas than Kwanzaa. After all, we like to spend money just like everyone else, so a holiday like Kwanzaa that goes against commercialism isn’t something that a lot of us seem to buy into.”


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on retailing
for Kwanzaa?


Kwanzaa is a holiday that was created in the 1960s with
the best of intentions. It sought to help bring African-Americans more in touch
with their cultural history and it eschewed much of the commercialism of modern
day Christmas practices. Sales history tells us that African-Americans, much
like Americans of other ethnic descents, enjoy celebrating Christmas.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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