The Black Lives Matter protests during 2020 led to new momentum behind long-standing concerns about statues, memorials and street names with associations with the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism. In response, Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture commissioned a review to identify locations in Lambeth with historic direct and indirect links to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism.
The review, which was supported by Lambeth Archives, found that:
- A small number of Lambeth street names have clear associations with trans-Atlantic Slavery and historic exploitative economic expansion during the early 18th century
- A number of memorials and statues also commemorate key individuals’ who were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, profited from it directly or via links with family;
- There are statues and tombs in the borough’s locations and cemeteries which mark families who were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade or profited from it, or similar economic policies which exploited people living in the Caribbean, India and Africa.
Now, we are opening up the conversation to the borough - asking residents, community and faith groups to share their views on the different locations which have been identified and to suggest people who might be celebrated for their contribution to making Lambeth the diverse and inclusive place it is today. We will then assess whether we can legally suggest new names or commemorations to mark the lives and contributions of these people to our borough, building on our proud history of the commemoration of Black leaders in the late 20th century.
There will be lots of ways to have your say and get involved in the review and community conversations around this difficult and important topic.
Soon, we will launch an online engagement website where you can share your views and read more information about the different locations that have been identified. Residents will also be able to respond offline as we'll make paper copies of the information and survey available to those who need it.
Community listening events
Throughout the process, we'll be hosting online events where you can learn more about the locations that have been identified and get involved in the conversation.
The first event on November 19 will begin with an introduction to the topic and context of each of the individual locations identified in the borough by Lambeth Archives Manager, Jon Newman. Cllr. Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture will then lead a discussion with Debbie Weekes-Barnard, Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement and Dawn Hill, Chair of the Black Cultural Archives.