Consultation to rename Black Boy Lane open to public

Residents to decide whether or not to change local street name

Credit: Stephen Furner

By Luchia Robinson

Haringey Council is asking for residents’ views on whether or not to rename Black Boy Lane to La Rose Lane after John La Rose, a former resident, essayist and founder of New Beacon Books, in Stroud Green Road, N4.

The consultation is part of a review that aims to address the renaming of streets, places, buildings, places and monuments within the borough that have racist, colonial or discriminatory links.

Leader of the council, Cllr Joseph Ejiofor said: “Words matter. Language can be a tool for inspirational change, or it can be a tool for oppression and ignorance.

“Nowadays the phrase ‘Black boy’ is most commonly used as a derogatory term aimed at African heritage men. If we were naming the street now, we would not be calling it Black Boy Lane. The question really is whether or not this is an appropriate name for a street here in Haringey.

“Haringey is a multicultural, multi-ethnic, very diverse borough and it’s really important that everybody feels respected by the society in which they live. I’ve been told by some people that they feel that the name itself doesn’t respect them as individuals, it doesn’t respect their ethnicity.

“Haringey has always respected all members of its communities and I think that where there’s a clamour for change, that the response from the consultation will be positive.”

The renaming review follows on from questions concerning race and inequalities highlighted locally and worldwide by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Last month, the pub company Greene King made the decision to change the name of four pubs in its estate; one called The Black’s Head and three called The Black Boy.

Cllr Ejiofor said: “I am very pleased that Greene King’s inclusion and diversity strategy has led them to rename these pubs. Haringey is a proudly diverse borough, and I hope that Haringey residents will similarly agree to rename Black Boy Lane in Tottenham during our statutory consultation.

“While we appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone, and responding to consultations such as this may be more challenging, we believe that now, more than ever we should seek to send out a clear message in support of the diversity in our borough.”

If the name change goes ahead, the council has proposed a voluntary payment of £300 per household and organisation on Black Boy Lane, for any inconvenience the renaming may cause.

These residents will also receive official notification of the road name change, and assistance dealing with administrative changes they’ll need to make.

Cllr Ejiofor said: “Haringey as a borough has always been a place where people feel respected by their neighbours and by the community in general. I think that agreeing to change the name of Black Boy Lane will be very important to continue that legacy.”

This consultation is open till Friday, 19th February.

Residents and organisations can respond to the consultation using one of the following methods:

• Online using the survey at: https://wh1.
snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=160812947171
• Email: bblconsultation@haringey.gov.uk
• Telephone: 0208 489 3797
• By post: Consultation Co-ordinator, The
Communications Team, River Park House,
225 High Road, Wood Green N22 8HQ

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