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Council say sorry to CLR James widow

PUBLISHED: 17:03 24 September 2010

CLR James Library, Dalston Lane.

CLR James Library, Dalston Lane.

Archant

Hackney Council has apologised to the widow of CLR James for failing to consult her on their plans to remove his name from a popular Dalston library.

CLR James

The council plans to close the current CLR James library in Dalston Lane next spring and replace it with a new £4.4 million building, to be called Dalston Library and Archives, which will form part of the Dalston Square development.

Over 1000 people have signed an online petition demanding that the new building retains the name of the celebrated Afro-Trinidadian writer and historian and the council has now said sorry to Selma James, a celebrated feminist writer in her own right, for not speaking to her about the name-change.

A council spokesperson said: “The Council has apologised personally to Selma James for failing to consult with her on these proposals and we hope to work with her to ensure CLR James continues to be remembered and honoured.”

The council said no decision had yet been made on what would happen to the current library building.

Author Cyril Lionel Robert James, also known worldwide for his cricket writing, attended the naming ceremony at the library in 1985.

He died in May, 1989.

The council plans to name an education room in the new building after him and have a permanent exhibition and an annual event in his honour.

The spokesperson said: “We feel that this will do far more to commemorate his life and to educate future generations than what is at the current site.”

Selma James was born in New York in 1930 and wrote the women’s movement classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community.

She lectures in the UK and USA on a variety of topics including gender relations and race.

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