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Meet Black Santas further expanding representation with 'Santas Just Like Me'

Joe Griffin, aka Santa Joe and Warren Keyes, aka Santa Warren in studio, discussing their work with 'Santas Just Like Me'
Erin Keever/WUNC
Joe Griffin, aka Santa Joe and Warren Keyes, aka Santa Warren in studio, discussing their work with 'Santas Just Like Me'
Stafford Braxton, CEO of Santas Just Like Me, outside the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, preparing for a Black Santa event.
Leoneda Inge/WUNC
Stafford Braxton, CEO of Santas Just Like Me, outside the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, preparing for a Black Santa event.

Stafford Braxton was working as a photographer with a mall Santa when he noticed a trend: Black families would approach him and ask if there was a Santa their kids could visit who looked more like them. Braxton realized there was a need to fill and "Santas Just Like Me" was born.

Braxton talks with co-host Leoneda Inge about getting that business off the ground, the joys and challenges of the work and the persistence it often takes to recruit his Santas.

Later in the hour, Warren Keyes and Joe Griffin, also known as Santa Warren and Santa Joe, meet Leoneda in the studio to talk about how they got into their work with "Santas Just Like Me" and what it means to them to be part of this expanding group of Santas from Charlotte to Greensboro to Durham to Raleigh.

Guests

Stafford Braxton, founder of "Santas Just Like Me"

Joe Griffin, aka Santa Joe

Warren Keyes, aka Santa Warren

Warren Keyes, aka Santa Warren and Joe Griffin, aka Santa Joe, in studio, discussing their work with 'Santas Just Like Me'
Erin Keever
Warren Keyes, aka Santa Warren and Joe Griffin, aka Santa Joe, in studio, discussing their work with 'Santas Just Like Me'

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Rachel McCarthy is a producer for "Due South." She previously worked at WUNC as a producer for "The Story with Dick Gordon." More recently, Rachel was podcast managing editor at Capitol Broadcasting Company where she developed narrative series and edited a daily podcast. She also worked at "The Double Shift" podcast as supervising producer. Rachel learned about audio storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Prior to working in audio journalism, she was a research assistant at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC.