'Santa Claus Is a Black Man' Singer, Grown-Up

The star of the African-American Christmas classic on her father's legacy and positive black imagery.

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It's what my dad was challenging with the song. It's like, everything that's fun and good and happy is in the white image. Everything that's magical and special is always in these images that don't look like us. We've gotta have images that look like us, too, that do great things. And it starts in childhood.

TR: Do you play the song for your children around the holidays?

AV: I do. They think it's hilarious. Every year I have this idea that I'm going to get my daughter to remake it. But when you do something as a parent, they don't think it's as cool as everyone else does.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root's staff writer. Follow her on Twitter. Like her on Facebook.

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