London Riots: West Indian writer Darcus Howe sets the BBC straight
Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster with a voice about the riots. Speaking about the mistreatment of youths by police leading to an up-roar and the ignorance of both police and the government.
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 to America from Trinidad in the 1960s where he was active in student committees fighting racial segregation. On arrival in Britain in the early 70s he joined the British Black Panthers – the first Black Panther organization 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. The book 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 Ture.