Tottenham's controversial 'Black Boy Lane' to be renamed after local legend following racism row

Plans to rename Black Boy Lane in north London were first revealed in February Credit: ITV News

A controversial street name in Tottenham is set to be changed following a racism row and named instead after a local London legend.

Black Boy Lane is to be changed following concerns by residents that the name had racist connotations and was a "source of ongoing hurt for Black people in the area". A public consultation led to the update from Haringey Council this week.

The street is set to be renamed La Rose Lane in January 2023 after the Black publisher and poet John La Rose, to mark his struggle for social justice.

La Rose played a key role in founding New Beacon Books in Stroud Green, and later the Caribbean Artists’ Movement.

'Passionate responses'

In the statement, leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Peray Ahmet, said: "I’m delighted that we’re able to pay tribute to John La Rose with a new street name.

"John made such a huge contribution to Black life both here in Haringey and across the UK and played an important role in gaining recognition for Black authors and artists, as well as championing inclusive education.

"I understand that this is a decision which has generated passionate responses. Several rounds of consultation were held, and I know that the corporate committee took the full range of views into consideration when deciding to change the name of the road. It is time now to move forward with this."

A soon-to-be replaced sign on Black Boy Lane in Tottenham Credit: ITV News

Cllr Peray Ahmet, added: "While every effort is being made to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, we recognise the name change will cause some disruption for residents, so I’m pleased that we’re able to make a £300 voluntary payment to affected households. Our officers will be out and about in the area over the coming weeks providing practical support to residents who need it. "I also want to be clear that this is just one small part of the work that we must do to ensure Haringey is a place where everyone feels welcome and included. I look forward to working with residents and communities on this important mission in the months and years to come." House numbers and postcodes will not be affected, and organisations including the Royal Mail will continue to recognise the old name of the street for a transitional period to minimise inconvenience for residents.

Renaldo La Rose, grandson of John La Rose, said: "John’s family are really proud that John’s life and work is to be recognised by having a road named after him. John’s work was of national and international significance but much of it started here in Haringey. We hope that through having his name memorialised in this way we will bring the message of his work – the urgent need for race equality and justice – to a new audience." The other option, which residents did not opt for was Jocelyn Barrow Lane, which was paying homage to Dame Jocelyn Anita Barrow DBE, who was a British educator, community activist and politician known for setting up the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination.

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