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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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Firstly we did not elect Mr Ejiofor but a group of cllrs did. Secondly leadership is taking the lead for the benefit of all your citizens not a few. This man has a personal agenda and does not represent all the people of Haringey. From what I've seen the power he has been given is reaching a Dictator and as noted he will sack those who don't agree with him. Bring back accountability by letting the people decide his fate not a group of cllrs who I belive are not challenging him because of fear of loosing their position. A disgrace to democracy 

Xavier, I'm not sure if you are aware of the origins and legacy of the term 'cultural marxism', but you probably want to remove that accusation. It says far more about those who use it than those it is intended to harm.

Don't be so coy, Will. Tell us more.

It was a theory promoted in Nazi Germany and parcelled up with their accusations of an international Jewish conspiracy to spread Bolshevism 

It is certainly not my intention to offend anyone so I have re-worded my blog, I still believe that maybe the Liberals or even independents should be able to get sufficient votes to at least even up the present massive Labour majority of councillors. 

I'm not a council 'knocker', and to be fair I think that this borough is (in general) fairly well run and a pleasant place to live. It does though make me wonder how it can still have a institutionally Marxist carbuncle within it stuck in the 1980s 'loony left' era trying to re-write history and pushing its biased agenda down our throats via worthless and pre-decided 'consultations' you'd expect in an autocracy. I wish people would think more carefully before they tick the box, but frankly, I don't hold out much hope. I think the democratic system within our (and probably many other local councils) need a political equivalent of colonic irrigation.

Having to rethink the language you originally used is surely an example of understanding history

Indeed Michael, any traces (albeit inadvertent) of perceived Antisemitism written or spoken should be addressed and modified thus not be open to misinterpretation.

I know, you’d think the Conservatives would have dealt with it, and Islamaphobia, by now


C'mon Michael, when Jewish Labour MPs have to have a police escort to their own party conferences....Wiki, it's an open media outlet, see the Labour party one on antisemitism.

I think you guys are missing the point. its modern use is neither exclusively antisemitic nor islamophobic. It's used by clowns who hear/read it on far-right or alt-right sites and parrot it in conversation. Without understanding it, they think it adds some academic or philosophical credence to their idiocy.

It's not that deep. It's a phrase that people hear among the other dog-whistle nonsense that appeals to them.

That Breivik and the NZ mass-murderer cite it as inspiration ought to be reason enough to stop using it. 

Xavier, If someone referred to me as a "Cultural Marxist" then, given the opportunity - I'd have gently disowned that compliment. Explaining that my efforts to understand the thinking and teaching of the Frankfurt School had been unsuccessful in the 1970s and ever since. This is despite having a longstanding German friend who tried to explain it to me. (As students we once shared a Crouch End flat when he studied Anglo American philosophy.)

I do realise - as The Guardian suggests - that the term "Cultural Marxist" is now being used and "co-opted by the alt-right".  But as letters to The Guardian also argued, this usage and interpretation is not a settled fact. 

I may be a hopeless case, but I still refuse to "No-Platform" my copies of Adorno & Co from my bookshelves.

However I wish, Xavier, that you and perhaps other people would stop pretending that Joe Ejiofor and his Cabinet courtiers are some "institutionally Marxist carbuncle ... stuck in the 1980s 'loony left' era trying to re-write history...." 
If you look in the wrong direction through the wrong end a telescope you miss what's actually going wrong.

To be fair to Joe Ejiofor I have long felt - walking or taking the bus along Black Boy Lane - that the streetname was highly questionable. I also agree with Joe's point about celebrating the achievements of a wider and more inclusive range of the borough's former residents. Maybe when new buildings and new streets are named we'll look beyond former politicians. however distinguished.

My point, that it's Mr Ejiofor who has issues so get over it. I'm sorry but I would feel that way with the choice of names he wants both from black origins. What about the other nationalities that make up Haringey? In my opinion he needs to go and the leader should be elected by the people. Although noted that there was a vote regarding this in 2009, who voted? Cllrs not the people. When London return to having a mayor and London assembly we had the chance to vote, the people, so let's have this vote, that way the leaders actions will be accountable to the people and if the people disagree that person can be removed 



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