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:
- Online: www.haringey.gov.uk/renaming-black-boy-lane.
- Telephone: 020 8489 3797
- By post: Consultation Co-ordinator, The Communications Team, River Park House, 225 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 8HQ
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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So the petition to change the name now has over 180 signatures and not to change the name only 57.
Keep your tinder dry
"Since you wrote to me, I have spoken to the Leader of the Council, Joe Ejiofor, who reassures me that the two-option online consultation is not the final opportunity residents will have to express their opinions. He says that there will be a further consultation toward the end of this year which will seek to understand whether the residents wish the name to be changed. He has apologised for the confusion the two-stage consultation has caused"
Be better prepared for the 2nd stage
And for your amusement www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/consultation_...
Hi Adrian, Glad to see you're still a gadfly in Haringey's prolonged pantomime season.
And thanks for the link to the Consultation Charter.
In your scan of the Council website you might also have been amused by the link to a pdf file containing an email from Dave Morris in 2015. Dave quoted the Supreme Court's very helpful judgement about consultation by local councils. It includes the following:
"In the recent Moseley judgement against Haringey Council by the Supreme Court the judges set out the conditions for fair consultation. These are:
"First, that consultation must be at a time when proposals are still at a formative stage.
Second, that the proposer must give sufficient reasons for any proposal to permit of intelligent consideration and response.
Third,... that adequate time must be given for consideration and response and, finally, fourth, that the product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account in finalising any statutory proposals.
Those seem like really sound principles, clearly expressed. Thank you for sharing.
I was trigered once agan on my walk down west green road. I ordered my coffee and they put the milk on top the coffee again more daily opreshen! Don't get me started on the white man driving on the black road. Comrade joe for PM so long as Dianne abots not busy. They fix it good.
All rubbish. No one I know even see a conectshen. What next black sea to Obama lake or Blackpool to beyonce bay.
I do find this quite bizarre. I was brought up in the area and fall into the demographic that others say should be offended by the name. I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone link it to racism except when making fun at the expense of the PC brigade who are mostly white middle class and keen to show how right on they are (but actually don't have any black friends). Still chuckling at the oppression of white milk on black coffee!
The proposal to change the name does nothing but divide the community. It's looking for offence that's simply not there and in doing so creates a problem and upsets people for no gain other than to make a petty local councillor with some pretty whacky views make his name as a pound shop Malcolm X.
It seems likely the road is named after a pub which is in turn named after a King, a chimney sweep or maybe a working horse. But let's assume the worse and say its named after a young black man from the depths of history. Even then the name would only be offensive in the context of African American post slavery race relations. Most black people around here are Afro Carribean, West African or East African (and some of them don't even consider themselves black - it is all relative afterall). There aren't many African Americans who might be offended by a tangential link to slavery around here. It's completely irrelevant to British race relations. Leave it be.
Well said Devon, spoken with total common sense. Creates more tensions than it cures.
Indeed Devon, your post is a direct common sense approach, it would be nice if it could be read by cllr Joe himself.
"If it could be read by Cllr Joe [Ejiofor] himself."
“If only the Tsar knew"? - A Russian fable.
Quite remarkable what passes for 'common sense' these days.
Only African Americans were impacted by the trans-Atlantic slave trade according to local exemplar of 'common sense'. Ughh.
This thread seems to have become very political and has deflected from the original purpose. should BBL and other names be changed. should the council decide or the people. should money be wasted to change these names when children are going hungry, when social care is cut, when tough times are coming as a cllr wrote on twitter.
It's not clear who your comment is aimed at but this is a very political issue. It's an undemocratic decision being imposed on residents by an elected official for politically motivated reasons.