Smokey Robinson (Courtesy photo)
Smokey Robinson (Courtesy photo)

Blacks Should Reconsider Power of the Boycott

Askia Muhammad expressed an interesting point in his opinion column, “I’m Boycotting Black Friday Until Jan. 2 [November 24-30 issue]. It has long been known that hitting the pocketbook of the oppressors is the most powerful way to initiate change. Boycotting has been used for this purpose for years including the historic Montgomery Bus boycott during the civil rights era. With solidarity, those residents of Alabama decided not to put their precious coins in the segregated bus system. They sacrificed the convenience of riding to achieve the greater goal of breaking down the segregation laws for public transportation. What would we be losing by boycotting all of those businesses that don’t give a hoot about Black unemployment, discrimination or unfair labor laws? The only thing they want is for us to spend our money with them. In many instances we become indebted to them and the banks for years, just because of Black Friday and holiday spending in general. Let’s consider Mr. Muhammad’s opinion and rethink the power of the boycott.

LeShawn Lee, Alexandria, VA

Smokey Robinson Truly Deserves the Medal of Honor

It was so wonderful to read your article about Smokey Robinson receiving this year’s Library of Congress Prize for Popular Song Music [by Eve M. Ferguson, November 24-30 issue]. I wholeheartedly believe that he deserved this award. Many in my generation grew up with Smokey Robinson as we sang along to our transistor radios, danced to his songs at house parties and watched Soul Train dancers perform to his music. Likewise, most of us can remember some puppy love crushes with Smokey singing in the background. How about the talent shows in which we sang his songs with our amateur groups? At last he’s been recognized for his talent through all of these decades, giving us some of the best songs ever written or performed. Thanks for the memories, Smokey!

Rachel Grissom, Washington, DC

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