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Street sign on former ‘Black Boy Lane’ vandalized 24 hours after name change


A road sign in north London has been vandalized within 24 hours of a street name change over concerns about racial connotations.


Black Boy Lane in Tottenham was renamed La Rose Lane on Monday to honor the late black publisher, poet and essayist John La Rose.

The council said that the name change was suggested during consultations held following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the US in May 2020.

It said it had since conducted a “full process of consultation” which found that “many residents shared concerns about the racial connotations of the name”.

On Tuesday, Haringey council leader Pere Ahmet tweeted a photo showing one of the six new road signs being vandalised.


She said that “acts of mindless vandalism simply will not be tolerated in Haringey” and that the sign had been cleaned by Tuesday afternoon.

It is unclear whether this is linked to protests from some neighbors who are opposed to the name change.

Residents explained that on La Rose Lane, about 10 copycat Black Boy Lane signs have been affixed to the outside of homes in a coordinated display of protest.


Angelo, a 72-year-old father of five, who would not give his last name, said he has lived on the street for 43 years and opposes the change.

Pointing to the Black Boy Lane sign affixed outside his house, he said: “I’ll keep it, I don’t think the council can force me to take it down.

“Why do they waste so much money (changing signs) when that money could be better spent?


“The council decided to change the name only because of Black Lives Matter.”

He said that a fellow campaigner printed out Black Boy Lane signs and distributed them to neighbors for free.

Angelou criticized the council’s consultation process for allegedly failing to listen to local opposition, a complaint echoed by others.

Another resident, Ian, 62, a chartered electrical systems engineer, criticized the “unnecessary disruption” caused by the change as part of the “current fad”.

On why he stuck a Black Boy Lane sign up outside, he said: “Since we’ve moved to Black Boy Lane there is in principle an objection to this change being enforced on us and a complete waste of money involved But seriously object.

“This is not a minor impact on the people living here, every organization you work with has to update your address details.”

The council states that organizations including the Royal Mail will continue to recognize the old road name for a transitional period of one year, and that road signs will continue to include the former road name during that period.

The town hall said that the street has been named Black Boy Lane in reference to the nearby Black Boy pub.

It states: “Although the historical origins of the pub’s name are unclear, the pub’s sign throughout the 20th century portrayed a racially colored image of a black man, until it was removed in the 1980s by local residents.” Not changed as a result of pressure.”

It said the name “causes racial connotations to negatively impact black residents and visitors to our borough”.

In a statement, Ahmet said: “I am saddened and disappointed that one of the namesakes of La Rose Lane Street has been vandalized within 24 hours of marking such a historic moment.

“We had a commemorative launch yesterday where we celebrated the life and legacy of John La Rose with his friends and family to remember an iconic figure.

“La Rose Lane creates a political history that few people know about because it has been made invisible.

“A history of struggle and resistance that changed this country.

“I fully understand that this is a decision that has generated passionate reactions and our Corporate Committee took all of those views into account when deciding to rename the street.”

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