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Legendary entertainer Smokey Robinson visits Connecticut magnet school

The Connecticut River Academy named its music suite in his honor.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The Motown love was strong in East Hartford on Thursday morning., as the legendary entertainer, Smokey Robinson visited Connecticut River Academy (CRA) at Goodwin University for a special dedication in his honor.

"Music brings people together like nothing else," explained Robinson.

That's exactly the tune that united hundreds in the halls of CRA.

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"What's interesting about today is you're getting a chance to see the history that people still remember," announced Goodwin president Mark Scheinberg.

History that's been in the making for more than a year, as the CRA named its music suite after the Motown legend. 

"He was emblematic of a change that happened in this country when people first realized that they were behind us together is so much more than with tears us apart," said Scheinberg.

A trailblazer in music and an advocate for change, Robinson said the dedication is a true honor. He said it's great seeing the younger generation unite through music.

"I think young people realize that we are all one race of people," stressed Robinson. "We're different colors, were different shapes, and sizes and all that. But when it boils down to it, we're all human beings."

Students said the hall's dedication allows Smokey Robinson's presence to be felt for years to come.

"It means so much that he just inspires great music, and he is just on his grind, and I aspire to be," said 11th grader Kenidy Blake.

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"It inspired me to do better and try to accomplish my
dreams," said ninth-grader Lauren Aduah.

With a name finally on the walls and a committed music program, CRA music director Jay Bernard said this is exciting and helps build the community through awareness of musics' historical context.

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"It's been so diverse; music is just still that way," stressed Bernard. " It's a part of how the community is built. People get together, and I think it's how people communicate with each other and a change of lives. And so I'm just super excited."

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


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