Civil rights activist Darcus Howe dies aged 74

Fiona Simpson
Civil rights: Darcus Howe has died aged 74: PA

Civil rights activist Darcus Howe has died aged 74.

The writer and broadcaster’s biographer Robin Bruce said he had “died peacefully in his sleep” at his Streatham home on Saturday, the BBC reported.

He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007.

Mr Howe spent 50 years campaigning for black rights and organised the 1981 Black People’s March following a fire in New Cross, south-east London, which killed 13 black teenagers.

He successfully challenged racism in the police during the Mangrove Nine trial at the Old Bailey in 1970.

Mr Howe was born in Trinidad in 1943 and moved to the UK in 1961.

The journalist, who edited Race Today magazine for 11 years, lived in Brixton for more than 30 years.

He also contributed to Voice Newspaper and New Statesman magazine.

He began his broadcasting career in the 1980s, presenting shows on the BBC, LWT and Channel 4.

Writers, politicians and celebrities took to social media to pay tribute.

The Voice News tweeted: We regret to inform you that respected journalist, activist & former @TheVoiceNews columnist #DarcusHowe has died. May he rest in peace.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott wrote: "So sad to hear that Darcus Howe has passed away. One of the standout activists & public intellectuals of his generation."

And, Labour MP Helen Hayes said: "Sad to hear of the passing of Darcus Howe, great loss to Brixton & to the cause of equality and human rights RIP."

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