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Months, weeks and days
February 9, 2009 - Rob Weaver
In a feature story filed last week, AP writer Jesse Washington asks whether Black History Month itself should fade into history.
“Many have long argued that African-American history should be incorporated into year-round education. Now, claims that Black History Month is outdated are gaining a new potency, as schools diversify their curricula and President Barack Obama’s election opens a new chapter in the nation’s racial journey,” Washington writes.
His article credits black historian Carter G. Woodson with starting Negro History Week in 1926. The observance grew to a full month in 1976.
There are good arguments for maintaining Black History Month, and equally good reasons to cease its observance. I’m taking this opportunity to weigh in on the issue, to stand up on a soap box and put my 2 cents’ worth in by stating, as far as I’m concerned, it really won’t make much difference either way.
That’s because February — lowly ol’ February, arguably most deserving to be the shortest month of the year — already has 12 “months.” No wonder it seems a year long!
In addition to the aforementioned designation, February also has been declared American Heart Month, Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month, National Time Management Month, Library Lovers Month, Plant The Seeds Of Greatness Month, National Weddings Month, National Parent Leadership Month, National Youth Leadership Month, Aggressive Driving Month (I assume that means aggressive driving awareness, but it might be related to Speed Week at Daytona) plus Workplace Eye Safety Month and Burn Awareness Month.
Plus, this month has Women's Heart Health Week and National Patient Recognition Week (slogan: Hey, thanks for becoming aware of your illness), both Feb. 1-7. In addition to Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, this month has World Marriage Day.
An aside concerning “awareness”: It might be worthwhile if it is intended to raise awareness about unfamiliar topics we can do something about. Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to, say, diabetes. I’m not sure efforts to make us aware of sleep (National Sleep Awareness Week, March 3-9) is all that helpful. Nice scheduling to have it follow the switch to daylight-saving time, though.
I also can’t figure out why some observances are longer than others. For example, there’s Photographer Appreciation Month (set for October) but Earth Day (April 22). Also, March for Babies is in April. That sounds like a scheduling error.
To see an entire list of months, weeks and days, type this in your browser and hit the return buttom: www.epromos.com/calendar/promotional-calendar.html. It will illustrate further why the addition or the loss of a month-long observance might not make much difference.
I’ll end this by stating I’m glad there’s just an April Fool’s Day.
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