This is a political and intellectual biography of an important and controversial figure in British race politics. In recent years Darcus Howe has been a high-profile (and not uncontroversial) television journalist, but he also has a long history as a grass-roots activist. He moved from Trinidad to Britain in April 1962. At the end of the 1960s he traveled widely participating in a variety of campaigns on the cutting edge of the black radical movement. In Canada he took part in the Congress of Black Writers; in America where he worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in New York; and in Trinidad he was assistant editor at The Vanguard during the Black Power Revolution of 1970. On his return to Britain in the early 70s he spearheaded the campaign against police racism in London and joined the British Black Panthers - the first Black Panther organisation outside the US. Here he attracted the attention of Special Branch, was arrested and had to defend himself at the Old Bailey. Over the next decade he was a member of a number of high profile campaigns that took on the National Front and police racism - campaigns which led to a seismic shift in British attitudes to race and culture more generally.
Darcus Howe: A Political Biography uses Howe's dramatic personal history as a lens through which to explore the British civil rights movement in the defining years of the 1970s and 80s. It also links the struggle for racial justice in Britain with the fight for black emancipation in the USA and the anti-colonial movement in the Caribbean. Howe has a unique intellectual position forged through his personal experience and through his interaction with leading black thinkers such as C. L. R. James (his great uncle) and Kwame Toure.
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