It's been said many times in many places, typically in February when educators, writers, museums, marketers and media remind us it's Black History Month.
"This is something that has irritated me for quite a while," Wayne County's top elected leader says Friday, echoing a familiar annual observation.
Wayne Evans, a former sheriff elected as county executive in 2014 and 2018, tells in a Free Press commentary why designating four weeks to honor centuries of struggle and achievement is irritating.
February is Black History Month. Not January, not March, and not any other month on the calendar. Only February. ...
Every year at this time, a number of individuals and organizations work hard to feature particular issues and historical events that highlight the remarkable journey of those Americans who are of African descent.
Evans, 71, sees good intent underlying the history month recognition since 1976, but notes an obvious shortcoming:
What bothers me is that black history, like all American history, is something that should be celebrated and studied throughout the entire year as something integral to what made this nation what it is.
Black history should be a part of, not apart from, or in any way separate from all the other unique threads that create this entire American experience. ... If we're going to celebrate the American story, then let's celebrate it in full, not in part.
He suggests that the Charles Wright Museum, Motown Museum, Shrine of the Black Madonna and many other sites throughout the City of Detroit and Wayne County should "be visited and appreciated every single month of the year."