Ngoma Bishop, of the Dalston-based Black and Ethnic Minority Arts group (Bema), say he has written to Abbott about the importance of James’s name to black people. He had earlier thanked me “for taking the lead”.
After Loving Dalston revealed on 19 February this year 2010 that the name would vanish from the library’s title – the first news outlet to report this – Hackney council’s libraries department decided to consider naming a section of the new building for James, along with one for Rose Lipman (1903-1974), whose name was on Hackney archives in Downham Road. Asked about Lipman, a Hackney councillor from 1959 to 1974, Bishop said it was up to “that community to campaign for that”. Bishop, who is also a writer, said Bema “would, of course, support any such initiative”.
Hackney Unison, the trade union, has spoken up for her, asking in a letter to a local newspaper on 16 September 2010: “What about [the memory of] this influential Jewish and socialist Hackney councillor of the 1960s and ’70s?”
The archives and the library are due to move early next year to the new building in the Barratt’s complex near Dalston Junction overground station, which the council is renting from the developer.
A second round of government-prompted council budget cuts is to due to start next month.
This may lead Hackney council to leave the CLR James in its present premises just east of Dalston Square.
Library chiefs have, however, told Loving Dalston that the library and the archives “certainly will be moving into the new building in the spring”.
David Altheer 190910
* Backstory: Hackney drops black hero
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