Darcus Howe : biography
Darcus Howe (born 1943) is a British broadcaster, writer, and civil liberties campaigner. Originally from Trinidad, Howe moved to America in the 1960s, then arrived in England intending to study law, where he joined the British Black Panthers, the first such branch of the organization outside the United States., Bloomsbury, accessed 13 August 2011. He came to public attention in 1970 as one of the Mangrove Nine, when he marched to the police station in Notting Hill, London, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant, and again in 1981 when he organized a 20,000-strong "Black People's March" in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black teenagers died., The Guardian, accessed 13 August 2011.
He is a former editor of Race Today, and former chair of the Notting Hill Carnival. He is best known in the UK for his Black on Black series on Channel 4; his current affairs programme, Devil's Advocate; and his work with Tariq Ali on Bandung File. His television work also includes White Tribe (2000), a look at modern Britain and its loss of "Englishness"; Slave Nation (2001); and Who You Callin' a Nigger? (2004)., Channel 4, accessed 13 August 2011.
- Vallely, Paul. , The Independent, 22 October 2005. He writes columns for New Statesman and The Voice.
Howe has been married three times and has seven children. The 2005 Channel 4 documentary Son of Mine examines Howe's relationship with his 20-year-old son Amiri, who faced jail for charges related to stolen passports. His daughter Tamara was a director of production for London Weekend Television. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2007 and has since campaigned for more men to get tested.
A biography of Howe, Darcus Howe: a Political Biography, by Robin Bunce of Cambridge University and human rights activist Paul Field, is currently in preparation.
In 1982, Howe began his broadcasting career on Channel 4's television series Black on Black, later co-editor with Tariq Ali of Bandung File and more recently White Tribe, a look at modern day Britain and its loss of "Englishness". Howe has continued to write in the New Statesman and fronted the Channel 4 current affairs programme Devil's Advocate. He was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Belfast Film Festival's "Film and Racism" seminar and presented his documentary Who You Callin' a Nigger? at the festival.
In October 2005, Howe presented a Channel 4 documentary Son of Mine, about his troubled relationship with his 20-year-old son Amiri, who had been caught handling stolen passports, shoplifting, and accused of attempted rape. , Channel4.com., Midweek Interview Audio November 28, 2009
Howe appeared on the discussion programme, Midweek (on BBC Radio 4), to promote the documentary on 19 October 2005 and, live on air, became involved in an angry debate with American comedienne Joan Rivers. The dispute began when Howe suggested that Rivers was offended by the use of the term "black"; Rivers objected strongly to the suggestion that she was racist and accused Howe of having a "chip on his shoulder"., BBC website, 19 October 2005.
Howe was one of several public figures who fell foul of perennial satirist and prankster Chris Morris on Morris' show Brass Eye, in the final episode, "Decline".
Early life and early career
Howe was born in Moruga, Trinidad, the son of an Anglican priest. He first moved to England at the age of 18,Howe, Darcus, , New Statesman, 12 March 2007. arriving on the SS Antilles at Southampton. He intended to study law at Middle Temple, but left the law for journalism. He returned to Trinidad, where his uncle and mentor, radical intellectual CLR James, inspired him to combine writing with political activism. A brief spell as assistant editor on the Trinidad trade union paper The Vanguard was followed by a return to Britain, where he served as editor of the magazine Race Today from 1973 to 1985.
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