Following an initial consultation on a potential new name for ‘Black Boy’ Lane in 2020, Haringey Council, in London, is now moving to a second phase of the consultation – asking residents their views on whether or not to rename ‘Black Boy Lane’ to ‘La Rose Lane’. 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. Meanings change over time, and the term ‘Black Boy’ is now most commonly used as a derogatory name for men of African heritage.
The consultation to rename Black Boy Lane is part of the council’s wider Review on Monuments, Building, Place and Street Names in Haringey, which seeks to represent and celebrate the rich culture and diversity that we are so proud of in our borough. In phase one of the renaming consultation, residents showed a strong preference for the name ‘La Rose Lane’, as such, residents will now be asked whether they feel the street name should remain as ‘Black Boy Lane’ or be changed to ‘La Rose Lane’ - in celebration of John La Rose, a former Haringey resident, publisher, essayist and poet. Phase two of the consultation is still open - to Friday 19 February.
The council has written directly to residents of Black Boy Lane who have been asked to consider ‘La Rose Lane’ as an alternative name. Councillor Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council, said: “Words matter. Language can be a powerful tool for inspiration and change, as well as for oppression and ignorance. It should be used wisely and respectfully, if we were naming the street now, we would not be calling it ‘Black Boy’ Lane.
“It simply does not reflect the diversity, and social cohesion that defines the Haringey of the 2020s. The journey to completely eradicating racism, prejudice and discrimination is a long one. But whilst I am sure that we all want to get to this destination, we need to accept that a journey of a million miles, starts with just a single step. Changing the name of this road is that first step. 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.
"I encourage Haringey residents to have their voices heard in this consultation. As a community, as a society, we have to ask ourselves whether Black Boy Lanes remains an appropriate street name today, or whether now is the time for change. I’ll be supporting the change to La Rose Lane.” Residents and organisations can respond to the consultation using one of the following methods:
· Online using the survey (external link).
· Telephone: 020 8489 3797
· By post: Consultation Co-ordinator, The Communications Team, River Park House, 225 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 8HQ
The council will also be hosting an online meeting for residents / organisations to attend and ask council officers any questions. For details on this and how to join, please visit our website. The consideration of whether a street name should be changed is a formal process, as such the council has also published the ‘notice of our intention’ to make an order to rename Black Boy Lane to La Rose Lane. This is a statutory requirement under Part II Section 6 of the London Buildings Acts (Amendment) Act 1939.