Search

Campaigners’ call for CLR James Library

12:10 08 September 2010

CLR James

CLR James

Archant

ANGRY campaigners are calling on the council not to discount the cultural contribution of Hackney’s African and Caribbean residents by ditching the name of a popular Dalston library.

CLR James Library, Dalston Lane.

More than 100 protesters have signed a petition to demand that the new library being built as part of the Dalston Square development to replace the CLR James Library in Dalston Lane retains the name.

Members of the borough’s Black & Ethnic Minority Arts network (BEMA) and House of Arts & Music Production Services (H-AMPS) took action after discovering that the library’s current name was set to be dropped.

Town hall bosses called the library after the Afro-Trinidadian historian, cricket journalist and theorist Cyril Lionel Robert James in 1985. They now want to call it Dalston Library and Archives when it reopens next spring.

“I think the council, at the time the library was named, was making a statement and commitment regarding the literary contribution of African Caribbean people worldwide,” said Ngoma Bishop, chairman of BEMA.

“Given the high percentage of African and Caribbean people in Hackney, I feel that taking a decision to drop the name is making an equally strong statement in the opposite direction.

“It’s one step short of being an insult to the community.”

CLR James gained acclaim for The Black Jacobins, his 1938 book about the 1791-1804 Haitian revolution, and his 1963 autobiographical book, Beyond A Boundary.

He attended the library’s naming ceremony. He died in May, 1989.

“This is not just about his contribution as a black individual,” said Andrea Enisuoh, of social justice group Hackney Unites.

“He was a campaigner and a thinker and we want to keep his legacy alive.”

“It is known internationally that there is a CLR library in Hackney and that is something we should be proud of.

“It’s about what sort of Hackney we want to see in the future. Now that Hackney and Dalston are developed, do we no longer want to support these people?”

A Hackney Council spokesman said: “We feel it’s important for the names of our libraries to reflect their location. We also had to consider the fact that Hackney’s archive service will be situated in the building.

“This will also ensure consistency with the borough’s other seven libraries, which are named after the area they are located in.

“However, this is the not the end of the council’s affiliation with CLR James, who we are proud to be associated with.

“As part of the new library, there will be a permanent exhibition to chronicle his life and works and an annual event in his memory, and we are pleased to report the state-of-the-art education room will also be named after this influential figure.”

To sign the Save the CLR James library petition. go to www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveclrjameslibrary/.

0 comments

Latest Hackney News Stories

11:59
The London Fields pub in Mare Street closed this summer

The former London Fields pub in Mare Street will reopen as members club Martello Hall after an application was approved by councillors on Thursday.

Anna Fiorentini in TripKitchen, where she caught up with the Gazette. (Picture: Emma Bartholomew)

EMMA BARTHOLOMEW catches up with Anna Fiorentini, whose drama pupils are about to celebrate 15 years at Hackney Empire with a gala.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
The men targeted fire stations across the South East    Picture: Andrew Matthews

Three men have been convicted of stealing “lifesaving” firefighters’ equipment worth more than £100,000.

Friday, August 26, 2016
The fire broke out in Hackney Central

A woman has been treated for smoke inhalation following a fire in Hackney Central this afternoon.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Pearly Queen beer, which is being sold in Dalston

Meetal Patel and John Leiper came up with the idea of combining their love for beer and honey in the pub one night.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Maisie 'Big G' Spooner (Picture: London Fire Brigade)

Maisie Spooner, who served in the Auxiliary Fire Service in the war, died last month. The Gazette finds out how Hackney owes her a huge debt.

Friday, August 26, 2016
One of Joseph Bloor's wooden spoons

Each week, the Gazette takes to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Hackney. This week, we speak to Joseph Bloor who makes wooden spoons.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
The weapons left behind in the street following the brawl

An alarming array of weapons was seized by police last night, after they broke up a mass street brawl involving up to 30 youths.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hackney Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now