Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mae Gentry, “Mall at Stonecrest offers black and white Santas”

Santa at Stonecrest has an identity crisis.

Sometimes he’s white; sometimes he’s black. And mall managers aren’t sure what to call him.

Last year, when the newly opened Mall at Stonecrest celebrated its first Christmas, a white- bearded, rosy-cheeked Santa greeted shoppers and their children.

But metro Atlanta’s newest mall, on the border between DeKalb County and Rockdale County, draws customers from both areas — heavily black south DeKalb and predominantly white Rockdale.

“We had a lot of requests from the community to fulfill both markets that we have here at Stonecrest,” said marketing coordinator Kimberly Handberry.

So mall managers hired a local African-American actor, Charles Black, to work weekends and dubbed him “Cultural Santa,” leaving the daily duty to what they called “Traditional Santa.” When word of the two Santas broke out, irate people contacted Stonecrest’s marketing director, Donald Bieler. […]

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