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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Following my consideration on the origins of West Green's Black Boy name back in the summer, Haringey Council has decided to rename Black Boy Lane in West Green.

The Council have called the exercise  a 'renaming consultation', but the online questionnaire offers only the ability to choose from a shortlist of two new names. So it appears that the decision to rename has already been taken with only the choice of name left to be decided.

They have issued the following press release.

The council has launched a renaming consultation with residents and businesses located on Black Boy Lane, as part of the wider Review on Monuments, Buildings, Place and Street Names in Haringey – which was launched on 12 June 2020, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The council believes that the names of our monuments, buildings, places and streets must reflect the values and diversity that we are so proud of in the borough. One of the street names that has been identified as not being reflective of this is Black Boy Lane.

Meanings change over time, and the term “Black Boy” is now most commonly used as a derogatory name for African heritage men.

As part of the consultation, the council is asking residents to consider new alternative names that celebrate some of the borough’s most notable influencers, and truly reflect the borough’s rich heritage.

The two names that have been shortlisted for residents to consider are, ‘Jocelyn Barrow Lane’ and ‘La Rose Lane’. The consultation will launch today, Monday 28 September and will run for a period of 4 weeks to Monday 26 October 2020.

Letters will be arriving on Black Boy Lane residents' doorsteps this week, who can respond to the consultation using one of the following methods:

If Haringey residents have concerns or queries about place, street or building names in the borough, please get in touch. Send your views to Leader@haringey.gov.uk.


Dame Jocelyn Anita Barrow (15 April 1929 – 9 April 2020) was a Barbadian/Trinidadian British educator, community activist and politician, who was the Director for UK Development at Focus Consultancy Ltd. She was the first Black woman to be a governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was founder and Deputy Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Council.

John La Rose was a publisher, poet and essayist. He founded the Caribbean Artists’ Movement and publishing company New Beacon Books which has a bookshop in Stroud Green. In 1975, he co-founded the Black Parents Movement from the core of the parents involved in the George Padmore Supplementary School incident in which a young Black schoolboy was beaten up by the police outside his school in Haringey.

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Tags for Forum Posts: blackboy lane name change, review on monuments, building place and street names

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Start to "activate" to change the council. Talk about the tyranny, get others even if just a few residenst to talk about it and share this. Spread the word.

I see this morning that, following Green King's decision to rename its Black Boy pubs, Wetherspoons has decided not to. An article in the Independent reported:

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has confirmed it will not be renaming ‘The Black Boy’ pub in Wales after another brewery chain committed to changing the titles of four of its venues over concerns they had racistconnotations.

Greene King announced last week that it would change the names of three of its pubs called The Black Boy and another called The Black’s Head due to a perception that the names were linked to racism.

Wetherspoon said its venue in Newtown, Powys, has never received any complaints and that name dates back to the 17th century.

A Wetherspoon spokesperson told The Independent: “The Wetherspoon pub in Newtown is called the Black Boy, which we believe is the historic name for a chimney sweep.

In the context of the discussion, perhaps the pertinent quote from the article is...

"The pub chain (Wetherspoon) had proposed changing the venue’s title in 2014, saying it was “not [the company’s] preferred name”. However, this led to backlash from locals, and two-thirds voted via a poll in by town’s newspaper to keep the original name."

Two points, the term Black as in to blacken, is associated with the age old concept of Light (white) and Dark (Black) also form the age old history of white being associated with Good and Black being associated with bad (God and Lucifer).

Unfortunately this has also generated prejudice based on skin colour.

The points of masked protesters is reasonable. Anyone who has seen the often violent protests and the destruction of monuments can see the use of face covering. Just like during the pole tax riots of the eighties. This is not a Black Lives Matter issue. People who are knowingly doing things that may be considered wrong or illegal have a tendency to employ face coverings. This is a fact of life and reflects both on the protesters and the cause for which the protest is supporting.

There are many historical protests that are associated with human rights (women's, race, poverty etc) where masks have not been in evidence and any violence that resulted was from the "authorities" or opponents. The Martin Luther King history is an excellent demonstration of how good people can effectively protest without having to resort to violence and destruction.

Clive Carter has posted online a copy of an email sent to most Haringey councillors, from former Labour councillor Stuart McNamara. Clive had Stuart's permission.
Stuart's family lived in Black Boy Lane.

(Republished below

I don't agree with the Albert Park statement 'Haringey Council's recent decision to change Albert Road Recreation Ground to O.R. Tambo Recreation Ground was the right decision at the right time, recognising a great man who spent some of his most important years in political activism in the sanctity of Muswell Hill.'  There isn't any mention of the terrorism he participated in (which is also glossed over in Wikipedia).

its worth asking why, if these people lived in muswell hill and stroud green, arent roads or parks chosen for renaming in those areas

Andrew please look up online posting about Rhodes Avenue school. The wrong Rhodes, by the way.

Then please have a look in the UCL records on slave-owning families. The question might be which streets are named after property owners who were NOT also slave owners in some branch of the family. Or who were famous imperialists. Or maybe named after members of Parliament who voted the wrong way.

Meanwhile, this is plainly a great time for Haringey's ruling clique to do complex deals, partly obscured, with property developers for the sale or long-term leases on Council-owned land and buildings. In many cases destroying homes and businesses - including BAME businesses and homes.

HDV#2 is on the way

This thread has enough ground to cover without opening up the highly contentious issue of whether it is appropriate to label Tambo as a terrorist. This article on QU South Africa offers an introduction. The internet will yield plenty more information. But please leave discussion of this sub-issue for elsewhere.

Just a quick clarification in response to your fair point. I perhaps could have made it clearer in my email to the council that I quoted Albert Road Rec to O.R. Tambo Rec as an example of a well-supported and straightforward commemorative change from a benign previous name and didn't intend to directly conflate the two cases as like for like when of course the Black Boy Lane renaming is in contention, especially with the heirs of John La Rose not supporting the use of his name as the replacement.

With regard to your second point, I'd simply say that I disagree as by extension you'd have to apply the same rule to Nelson Mandela and this was the political position of Thatcher who was a supporter of the Apartheid regime. Her view was not only countered by differing and strong arguments back in the 1970s and 1980s but was also shown by the passage of time as being morally wrong. I would hazard a guess that my view on this is reflective of the overwhelming proportion of Haringey residents, both past and present.

Hi Stuart

Do you mind me asking about the timing of this letter?

Was there any reason that you sent it immediately after the close of the 2nd 'consultation'?

Hi Will.

I sent the email to the council on Thursday 18th February, the day before the consultation ended; a consultation by the way that I don’t think was particularly transparent when held for 5 working days during a pandemic lockdown. I would have replied to the consultation earlier if I’d known it existed.




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