On this episode of Black Power Talks, we learn about the colonial origins of Santa Claus, also known as Sinter Klaas or St. Nick, the patron saint of shipping.
Colonial ideology purports the Christmas holiday to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus. In fact, the Christmas holiday season is centered around the obsessive pursuit and aspiration to purchase gifts, central to this is the Santa Claus Myth.
The Santa Claus myth has its origins in Dutch traditions surrounding the characters Sinter Klass and Zwarte Piet, Black Pete in English. These traditions are celebrated in the Netherlands, also known as Holland, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, and throughout the colonial Dutch world with blackface festivals. Africans have organized organized a serious pushback against these festivals, yet they persist.
To help us understand the colonial-capitalist contradictions of the holiday season and the colonial origins of Santa Claus, we share clips from Chairman Omali Yeshitela. The first clip is an excerpt from a conversation between Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Peggy Burke of the Global Afrikan Congress, speaking direct from Amsterdam that took place on November 28th, 2004.
The second clip is an excerpt from a presentation given by Chairman Omali 2 weeks later, on December 19th, 2004, to the regular Sunday community meeting at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Black Power Talks is produced by WBPU 96.3 FM "Black Power 96" in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is hosted by Dr. Matsemela Odom and Dexter Mlimwengu, bringing an African Internationalist perspective to the important issues of our world.