Mall of America Gets Its First Black Santa | NBC Connecticut
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Mall of America Gets Its First Black Santa

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    The Santa Experience
    Santa Larry Jefferson, pictured, is the first black Santa to be featured at the Mall of America's Santa Experience.

    The Mall of America is celebrating diversity this holiday season. 

    For the first time since it opened in the early 1990s, a black Santa will hear children's wishes at the Minnesota mall. 

    "It's pretty historic," Landon Luther, co-owner of The Santa Experience, which runs a small photo studio in the mall, told NBC. "We want Santa to be for everyone."

    Luther said he wanted a diverse bunch to pose for photos with visitors this year, so he sent staff members to a Santa convention in Bronson, Missouri. 

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    There was a single black Santa at the convention, Texas resident Larry Jefferson. Luther got in touch with Jefferson, who agreed to a four-day contract at the country's largest mall. 

    And so far, there's been nothing but holiday cheer for Jefferson. 

    "It's been nothing but positive. We're getting a lot of support," Luther told NBC.

    In fact, Jefferson is so popular that he's now fully booked for the weekend that he is scheduled to appear at the mall.

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    Luther is hoping Jefferson will come back to the Mall of America for a longer stint as Santa next year.