The first installment in Steve McQueen's anthology series Small ax officially premiered on November 20th, and we're already excited. The series is a collection of five original films examining the Black experience in Britain from the 1960s to the 1980s. The debut film entitled "Mangrove" describes the trial of nine black activists who were indicted in 1970 for rioting. The allegation was made after police harassed customers at The Mangrove, a Caribbean restaurant in Notting Hill where black intellectuals and creative people often protested.
One of the key figures and defendants in the trial was Darcus Howe (played by Malachi Kirby), who wanted to represent himself. A native of Leighton Rhett Radford Howe moved to London at the age of 18 after attending Queen & # 39; s Royal College with the intention of becoming a lawyer. However, after experiencing racism in Britain in the early 1960s, he returned to Trinidad and decided to pursue journalism instead. Throughout the decade, Howe played an influential role in the Black Power movement in both the US and the Caribbean, and met with activists such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael.
Howe returned to London in 1970, joined the British Black Panthers and organized the mangrove demonstration with Trinidadian doctor and research scientist Althea Jones-Lecointe (portrayed by Letitia Wright in London) Small ax). The march took place on August 9, 1970 after police searched the restaurant twelve times in 18 months, looking for drugs, and finding none. The protest remained peaceful until police intervention sparked violence that led to the arrest and prosecution of Howe and Jones-Lecointe, along with seven others: Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Frank Crichlow, Rhodan Gordon, Anthony Innis, Rothwell Kentish and Godfrey Millett. The defendants stood 55 days on trial and were eventually acquitted after showing racism within the metropolitan police force.
Three years after the trial, Howe helped launch the Race Today Collective – a branch of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) that studied and analyzed international race relations. He was editor of the organization's magazine Race today From 1973 to 1985 global issues of social justice were examined, in particular the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black people between the ages of 14 and 22 died in an alleged racist attack. The publication helped organize a demonstration that attracted over 20,000 people who marched through London. Howe also had a career in broadcasting and filmmaking.
Howe died in April 2017 after a decade battle with prostate cancer. According to his biographer Robin Bunce, he died "peacefully in his sleep" at his home in Streatham, where he lived with his wife Leila Hassan, whom he married in 1989. Hassan and his three children Darcus Howe and Amir Howe outlive him and Tamara Howe.