John La Rose honoured as South London street renamed after him

La Rose Lane will be officially named in January 2023 as residents welcome the change after previous racist connotations from the old street name

A road in Tottenham, north London is set to be renamed in honour of the late Black publisher, poet and essayist John La Rose, Haringey Council have announced. The change also comes as the previous road name was said to have negative racial connotations.

Haringey resident John La Rose (1927-2006) was an influential figure in the struggle for social justice and recognition for Black authors, artists and thinkers. He was originally from Trinidad and Tobago but was involved in the struggle for political independence and cultural and social change in the Caribbean in the 1940s and 1950s and later in Britain, the rest of Europe and the Third World.

The order was made by Haringey Council on December 7 after the council undertook thorough conversations with residents of Black Boy Lane, a source of ongoing hurt for Black people. The road will officially be renamed La Rose Lane from January 23 2023 but house numbers and postcodes will not be affected by the change.

The Royal Mail has also confirmed that there will be a transitional period between the change in street names to begin with, before slowly phasing out the old address in light of the celebration of the respected London figure, who played a key role in founding New Beacon Books in Stroud Green, and later the Caribbean Artists’ Movement.

Leader of Haringey Council, Councillor 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.”

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.”

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