Darcus Howe: British broadcaster and rights campaigner dies aged 74

He died peacefully in his sleep, according to his biographer 

Sunday 02 April 2017 23:26 BST
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Darcus Howe, then editor of the magazine Race Today, pictured in his London office in 1976
Darcus Howe, then editor of the magazine Race Today, pictured in his London office in 1976 (Getty)

Darcus Howe, the British broadcaster, writer, and civil liberties campaigner has died aged 74.

He spent more than half a century campaigning for black rights and is well known for organising the 1981 Back People’s March.

Howe died peacefully in his sleep in Streatham, south London, according to his biographer Robin Bunce.

Darcus Howe on the Channel 4 current affairs show ‘Devils Advocate’
Darcus Howe on the Channel 4 current affairs show ‘Devils Advocate’ (ITV/Rex)

He made his name in the British Black Panthers in the 1970s and worked as a journalist, writing a column for the New Statesman.

Howe also worked as a broadcaster and presented a range of shows for the BBC, Channel 4 and LWT. He was well known for his current affairs show Devil's Advocate.

Diane Abbott, the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and the shadow Home Secretary, paid tribute to Howe on Twitter.

“So sad to hear that Darcus Howe has passeda away. One of the standout activists & public intellectuals of his generation,” she said.

MP John McDonnell wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear Darcus Howe has died. He was a courageous campaigner against injustice and for equality and civil liberties over decades.”

George Galloway tweeted: “Darcus Howe RIP. Fighter against racism and imperialism. Civil rights champion. Great leader of black peoples around the world.”

In 2009 Howe successfully fought off prostate cancer after first being diagnosed with the illness two years before.

Christened Leighton Rhett Radford, he was born in Trinidad in 1943 and came to the UK in 1961. His father was a vicar and his mother a teacher.

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