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Is Ike All Right?

June 27, 1993

In "What Ike Had to Do With It," by Robert Palmer (June 20), one of the main facets of the Ike Turner story is left out. What the author didn't talk about is racism.

It is indeed true that Turner made tremendous contributions to the structured beginnings of R&B music as well as rock 'n' roll (besides being guilty of having done terrible things to his then-wife, Tina Turner). But Palmer overlooks the obvious: the overtones of racism that would explain both the lack of appreciation for Ike's contributions to the music as well as the exaggerated evil presence depicted by the white movie-makers of "What's Love Got to Do With It."

The exploitation and racism suffered by blacks at the very beginnings of rock 'n' roll cannot be omitted if one is to accurately portray any of the music's black pioneers.

Ike Turner was no saint, but he was definitely a victim of racism in the music industry in his early days as well as the movie industry of this day.

PAUL STARKS

Compton

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