By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

Visitors of one Killeen business this weekend got a taste of a different kind of Santa Claus.

Under One Roof on Jasper Avenue in Killeen is an African-American store with books, music and other collectibles and plays host annually to a black Santa Claus for the kids.

Owner and operator of the store, Babatunde, says its a service to the community.

"We do this every year," he said. "It's a service that I think we need to render to the African-American community. Even though we know Christmas is not real, I'd rather fight a lie with a lie basically. I'd rather see a black child see someone that looks like him giving.

"Whites in this country don't have a problem with a white Santa Claus giving, and I don't think they'd have a problem with a black Santa doing the same thing."

Babatunde said he's not concerned with sending a mixed message, because in this country, we're all from different cultures.

"When you talk to me about multiculturalism, that tells me that I have a culture too," he said. "So that's what I'm doing. I'm honoring my own culture, I'm loving my own culture."

Lisa Modeste brought her sons Omari, 7, and Kasim, 4, to the store, and let them sit on Santa's lap.

Omari said he asked Santa for an Xbox 360.

"I think it's wonderful for the children to be able to come see Santa and give them their wishlist," Modeste said. Regarding a black Santa, she said "it's good to see that, because children are of all colors. So when we have a Santa of all colors, that's very nice too."

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