Black Lives Matter and Penny Lane

There has been a lot in the news lately about the removal of monuments or road names honouring those who made their name or their fortune from slavery. As a major port during the 18th and 19th centuries, clearly Liverpool played a key role in the slave trade and that needs to be recognised and, where necessary, rectified.

While this page fully supports the #BlackLivesMatter movement and we are totally opposed to racism or discrimination in any form, we also urge people to check their facts.

Penny Lane is NOT named after James Penny, the slave trader and extensive research has been carried out to confirm this. We would direct your attention to this piece of research, for example: Was Penny Lane Named After James Penny?

Penny Lane road sign, June 12, 2020. Photo credit: Jackie Spencer

However, we would also urge a degree of understanding for those who are so angry. Ultimately, ending racism is more important than a road sign. If you are angry about calls to rename Penny Lane — and we can understand that anger — the most effective thing you can do is share the research and the truth. Let those who are so angry about racism learn the truth about Penny Lane, and give them time to do that. Let’s try not to deflect our anger and our attention from racism. Road signs can be restored; lives cannot.


2 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter and Penny Lane

  1. Glen Huntley says:

    Thank you for posting the link. The point of the post was to encourage research and thankfully this is now being carried out.

    The International Slavery Museum who first made the claim, (based only on an assumption made by their then Press Officer) have now said they are reviewing the evidence and if need’s be they will remove the Penny Lane sign from their museum display:

    “We realise that there is some debate about whether Penny Lane was named after James Penny and we openly talk about this to visitors. We are actively carrying out research on this, and will re-evaluate the display (and change if required)”

    I suppose that since 1967 the Penny Lane road signs have been the most stolen and defaced signs in the world. Even Sir Paul McCartney did it! At least people are educating themselves on Britain’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. That must also include correcting wrong assumptions.


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