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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I'm still shaking my head at this. The Council has spent so much on something noone wants. I don't know why the English don't stand up to this sort of thing. It would never happen in Turkey or Greece. This guy sums it up perfectly.

Tags for Forum Posts: blackboy lane name change

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That's such a great bit of street art. I love it. I wonder if the council will try to remove it. 

It’s gone but looks like by more graffiti 

I would like to politely suggest that you get over it.

I have lived half my life in Hong Kong where a large number of streets have names with a colonial connotation, including one that translates as 'The Queen of England Road'  China has not moved to change anything.

Geraldine, Hasn't China "moved to change" many other things? Provoking far angrier debate and disagreement?

Indeed, Alan, China has changed and continues to change the politics, security and rule of law that have existed since colonial times.  Under British rule there was an (uneasy) acceptance of protests against the government and, for a while, China too accepted them.  However, these turned violent and when the government lost control harsh measures were imposed to restore order.  These measures continue in an attempt to turn Hong Kong into a Chinese city.  It is true that many, mostly the young, are afraid of repercussions for their past rebellion and many have emigrated.  You will not read here in the Western press of the majority who have chosen to stay.  They have never involved themselves in political issues and are only thankful peace has been restored.  Many are my friends so I know this is true. 

Money spent aside, very happy to have John La Rose's name on one of our street signs.

Many of us will likely just use both, whichever comes to mind first. Just like I still say I'm going to Texas (Homebase) or Bingol (Umut 2000).

Anyone new to the area will use John's name. 

It baffles me how so many people are in such an uproar about this. I remember the first time I moved into the area and drove down this road and saw "Black Boy Lane" I winced a little bit. In this day and age, it is not a good name for a road. Regardless of who might be put out, the complications of the change and who does and does not like it, it needed to be changed. How can you fight for a road with that sort of name to stay as it is. It's utterly baffling.

Completely agree, & those who simply state that it's an acceptable name for this day & age, citing that that is because was used as homage to a nickname for a royal child that stuck, might perhaps think on the white privileged thought processes & socio-political scenario that gave rise to that nickname in the first place.

Oh would it were that things be so changed as you may imagine; or maybe you have a different understanding or definition.
A useful article states "Having white privilege and recognizing it is not racist. But white privilege exists because of historic, enduring racism and biases." 


Leaving aside the financial considerations for a moment; one point is that Queen Henrietta, member of one of the most privileged families to exist at the time, continuing today, noticed her son's appearance & delighted in giving him, or teasing him with, such a nickname - whether she herself was biased or racist in any way isn't the point that's relevant today. It's not acceptable to simply say, "Well, Henrietta didn't mean it that way, so it's OK", partly because we can't possibly know how she felt deep down, or why it occurred to her to make such a distinction, but, today, to make a big deal out of a person's appearance, or more to the point, to call someone black who isn't, or who may have mixed or unknown heritage, or even to pretend to be so today could viably cause offence; that much is recognised, however much it might appear innocuous on the surface, or however much one might want to wish the connotations of unconscious bias away, there are wider implications that would be better addressed rather than perpetuated.

I think the £180,000+ is the estimated (by council officers) cost of the whole shenanigans, including compensation payments, not just the consultation. In present circumstances, I believe it’s a completely irresponsible waste of money when Haringey has so many more pressing problems, including those around homelessness, social care, housing maintenance, disability and education. For example, this sum equates to the salary of one primary school teacher for six years (or six teachers for one year).

I’d suggest the priority for a cash-strapped local authority that’s seen a 40% reduction in funding since 2010 is to try to alleviate current hardship before dealing with (unproven) historic injustice — riding roughshod over the wishes of the actual residents of BBL itself and imposing a “choice” of only two names, rather than a) considering other historic figures from the borough’s huge range of ethnic groups or b) giving residents a free choice in deciding a new name for themselves. (In Camden, in contrast, the council tried to change the name of Cecil Rhodes House and nominated “approved” names; the residents rejected them out of hand and came up with the neutral “Park View House” instead. Honour satisfied, residents involved and happy.)

I was managing Cecil Rhodes House when the idea of changing the name was first mooted by some tenants.  I certainly didn’t try to change the name.  I asked, they said no, so it wasn’t. A decade or so later the idea came up again, they said yes and it was



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