The city centre statue of slaver Edward Colston was toppled on 7th June 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest. Since then, the long running discussion about Colston’s prominence in Bristol has gained greater visibility.
With Colston Hall having recently changed its name to Bristol Beacon, local residents are establishing this petition to call for Colston Street and Colston Avenue to also have their names changed. Residents’ preference is to revert Colston Street to its pre-Colston name of Steep Street, and change Colston Avenue to Frome Avenue after the river that runs below it.
It would be perverse for Bristol Beacon to get rid of Colston’s name only to remain on Colston Street. And whilst changing street names may be a symbolic gesture, it is one way for residents to demonstrate their rejection of slavery in recognition of the continuing real world impact of the Atlantic slave trade’s legacy on people of colour today.
Black lives matter, and the very least we can do is not glorify slavers with street names.