COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Midlands couple is diversifying the meaning of Christmas.
The husband and wife duo say it's important for children to see the African American community represented throughout all holiday seasons.
Perry and Sharia Bradley affectionally known during the holidays as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, love Christmas. But that could be a bit of an understatement if you happen to see their front yard.
Ms. Bradley says, "To me, it truly is the happiest time of the year." And from the moment you step onto the Bradley property, you can feel the Christmas spirit.
This Christmas season the couple are spreading Christmas cheer along with a message of diversity. "When they see Black Santa and Black Mrs. Claus, they love it," said Mr. Bradley.
Mrs. Bradley saying, "It truly is for the kids. Because when they see us, they see them."
Underneath that red suit and behind the long, white beard, Mr. Bradley says each Santa is different. "It's amazing how many kids come up to us and say they've never seen a Black Santa, even now," he said.
As children, the pair said people of color were not represented as Santa, Mrs. Bradley saying, "When we were growing up we didn't have representation of us."
Now, the Bradley's are breaking down walls of color, teaching younger generations that no matter the color of your skin, you can be whoever and whatever you aspire to be.
Perry Bradley founded, Building Better Communities (BBC), an organization standing for racial equality. The non-profit aims to bridge the gap with law enforcement to make African American communities safer.