Jahleel Logan, 3, poses with Santa Claus, a.k.a. Langston Patterson, 77, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Patterson has been the South L.A. mall’s Santa since 2004, with African American families coming at specific times of the day just to visit him. “I just don’t want him to think that all greatness comes from a different race,” said Jahleel’s godmother, Arlene Graves, 45. “There are Santa Clauses his color doing good work too.” (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / December 7, 2013)
Dressed in a red Santa suit, white beard and rimless glasses balanced on his nose, Langston Patterson sits on a velvet couch and waits for his adoring fans.
Some call first to make sure he will be there. They come from Palmdale, Thousand Oaks and San Bernardino, driving past many shopping malls with Santas, but none that look like him.