Huge Black Boy Lane sign put up days after new road name was defaced

Huge Black Boy Lane sign put up days after new road name was defaced thumbnail

A huge new Black Boy Lane sign has been put up days after its new road name was defaced in North London.

Black Boy Lane in Tottenham was renamed La Rose Lane, after a campaign by Black Lives Matter supporters due to concerns about its racial connotations.

But just 24 hours later black paint has been daubed over the new street sign. Now someone has made a giant poster with the road’s old name on it and screwed it into the wall behind the new La Rose Lane sign.

Haringey council have already rushed to unscrew the enlarged street sign according to one of the street’s residents.

Gordon Damzen, 70, told “People are peeved off they just don’t see why it should be changed. They are against the waste of money.

“It’s nothing to do with Black Lives Matter. It seems like a lot of palava for no reason what so ever. It has been there for 300 years”

Gordon added that as many as 15 Black Boy Lane road signs have also been put up in residents windows to protest against the road name being changed.

He added: “Over two years ago a Neighbour was asked to do a survey of the street’s residents.  She asked me to accompany her.

“We got signatures from about two thirds of the houses. And about 80 per cent were against change, and many of the household are Afro-Caribbean.”

The renaming of Black Boy Lane follows the anti-racism protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd in the hands of US police in 2020.

Since his death, a number of statues and place names have been attacked for their racist connotations and links to the UK’s colonial past. It is thought that Black Boy Lane was named after a pub in the late 17th century. 

The decision to change the street name to ‘La Rose Lane’ was made by Haringey council in February last year and the new name is inspired by black publisher John La Rose, a local political activist who launched New Beacon Books in 1966.

But heritage campaigners, Save Our Statues, alleged that the name change has cost Haringey Council £180,000 of public money. The group said that the change was a ‘futile gesture’.

Founder Robert Poll said: ‘This move is representative of the current impulse to hunt out racism and offence where there is none as a performative display of virtuousness.’

At least 70 residents were also previously reported to have derided the plan as ‘tokenistic’ and an ill thought out ‘vanity project’ which could lose the history of the area.

After plans were announced resident Anne Taylor, told MailOnline: ‘The La Rose family issued a statement forbidding the use of La Rose name to rename Black Boy Lane.

‘They said it was a tokenistic gesture at too great a cost for Black Boy Lane residents and that John la Rose would have hated the notion.

‘Racism has no place in today’s society but this is like clapping for the NHS. It made people feel good but it did not help the NHS.’

Haringey Council made the decision to rename the street La Rose Lane after residents said Black Boy Lane, had racist connotations and was a source of ongoing hurt for Black people. The decision followed a thorough process of consultation with residents.

The council consultation into the name change found 64 per cent of the 742 people who responded were in favour of calling the street La Rose Lane.

Ronaldo La Rose, whose grandson the road is named after, told BBC London: “John La Rose was a real human being and you can see the history and what he’s done. Especially for black and young people in this country.”

Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council told ‘La Rose Lane makes visible a political history few people will know about because it has been rendered invisible. A history of struggle and resistance, which transformed this nation. When people see John’s name they will have the opportunity to discover and learn.

‘I fully understand that this is a decision that has generated passionate responses and our corporate committee took those full range of views into consideration when deciding to change the name of the road.

They added: ‘Now is the time to move forward and come together to honour the legacy of John La Rose and the many other black residents who have made such a huge contribution in the borough.’

The council leader previously said: ‘I am sad and disappointed that one of the La Rose street names has been vandalised within 24 hours of us marking such a historic moment.

‘We had a memorable launch where we celebrated the life and legacy of John La Rose with his friends and family present to remember an iconic figure.’

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MORE : First statues of black British people finally return to Brixton

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