My American Meltingpot

Is Christmas for white people with Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

December 18, 2020

On episode 57 of the podcast, we’re replaying our Christmas show from 2019 because it's still very relevant today. Maybe even more so. On that episode, I set out to answer the question, "Is Christmas for white people?" Now, I’m not white and I’ve been celebrating Christmas with my very Black family for more than 40 years, so clearly Christmas isn’t intrinsically a white people’s holiday, but there are plenty of people of color in America who don't deck the halls or jingle any bells on December 25. Considering the fact that 2020 has been a banner year for people to start paying attention to issues of racial injustice, white supremacy, and the whitewashing that permeates just about every facet of American culture, I thought this was the perfect time to revisit this episode. It’s a really good one and I promise it’s not all bah humbug! 

Joining me on the show for this racial rehash of Christmas, is Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. He is the author of several books, including his latest book that just came out in November, 2020, We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility. A public intellectual and an award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hill is also the owner of the Philadelphia based bookstore Uncle Bobbies Coffee and Books.

During our conversations, Dr. Hill and I discuss the immigrant experience and Christmas. We talk about the actual multicultural origins of Christmas. We explore some of the alternative celebrations folks have come up with that feel more in line with their cultural and ethnic heritage. And we consider the idea that celebrating Christmas as a person of color, could be considered a radical act of redefinition. This conversation will definitely have you thinking differently, and maybe a bit more colorfully, about Christmas. 

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To keep up with Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, visit his website where you can read his full bio and find all of his social media links.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, check out Dr. Hill's awesome bookstore, Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books. Please show them some love through the pandemic.

Check out this blog post I wrote about whitewashing Christmas in America, specifically about Santa Claus vs. the Three Kings.

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Happy Holidays. 

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