In 1992, the U.S. Congress designated the month of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.  Prior to this date, bills were submitted to designate periods of time to recognize Asian and Pacific Americans. 

According to Wikipedia, “The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.  The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”  Hopefully, enlightened non-Asian-Pacific Americans know that Asians and Pacific Americans have and celebrate cultural differences.

I was annoyed by the article in the Mother’s Day issue of the Parade magazine entitled “Mom Knows Best.”  I found it hard to believe that among the 1,000 moms interviewed the only phenotypically black mom featured in this article was a mother who had never been married.  Nothing like reinforcing a stereotype.

May 26 is Memorial Day (also known as Decoration Day), originally a day to decorate the graves of those fallen in the Civil War.  Folks still grumble about the day being changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May, but according to reference books, the North celebrated on the 30th while the South celebrated on different days.  Since the Day is for honoring the dead, let’s honor the dead – no matter what the designated date.

“The Colored Soldiers”

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

If the muse were mine to tempt it

And my feeble voice were strong,

If my tongue were trained to measures,

I would sing a stirring song.

I would sing a song heroic

Of those noble sons of Ham,

Of the gallant colored soldiers

Who fought for Uncle Sam…

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...