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Darcus Howe: A Political Biography
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For many, it was the first time that they had heard Howe's voice, or even heard of him. Yet for more than 40 years, Howe had been one of Britain's most prominent political figures having been, from the s through to the s, at the forefront of Black radical politics in England. In their important book, Darcus Howe: A Political Biography, co-authors Robin Bunce and Paul Field trace Howe's political trajectory while offering a window into British society through the prism of Black radical politics.
A good student, he attended Queen's Royal College, the country's elite school, on an exhibition scholarship, just like his uncle C. James had done years before. But despite his privileged secondary education, he grew up in modest surroundings where he gained an appreciation for the Caribbean underclass, race especially important given Trinidad's large Indian descended population , working-class struggles, and Trinidad's popular culture, including the steel pan and carnival.
Howe carried these impressions with him to London in the early s at a time when Blacks were arriving in large numbers as part of Britain's ongoing post-World War II reconstruction.
But while Black labour was needed in the country, the growing physical presence of Blacks was unwelcome to many and racist attacks, police brutality, and sensationalist anti-immigration outbursts in the media and by politicians fueled racial antagonism. Born in Trinidad during the dying days of British colonialism, Howe has become an uncompromising champion of racial justice. The book examines how Howe's unique political outlook was inspired by the example of his friend and mentor C. James, and forged in the heat of the American civil rights movement, as well as Trinidad's Black Power Revolution.
The book sheds new light on Howe's leading role in the defining struggles in Britain against institutional racism in the police, the courts and the media. It focuses on his part as a defendant in the trial of the Mangrove Nine, the high point of Black Power in Britain; his role in conceiving and organizing the Black People's Day of Action, the largest ever demonstration by the black community in Britain; and his later work as one of a prominent journalist and political commentator. Chapter 1 Son of a Preacher Man. Black Power Comes to Britain.
Chapter 3 Know Yourself. Chapter 4 Cause for Concern. Chapter 5 Darcus Howe is not a Comedian.
Related Darcus Howe: A Political Biography
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