An uncompromising champion of racial justice and fierce opponent of police brutality, Howe was born in British-ruled Trinidad in 1943 and moved to the UK in 1961.

He intended to study law at London’s Middle Temple, but abandoned his plans for activism, joining the Black Panthers – a movement inspired by the American group of the same name – after experiencing racist abuse and prejudice from white Britons towards the Afro-Caribbean community.

Howe would later begin a successful career in journalism, writing a regular column for the New Statesman magazine, but gained public attention in 1970 as a member of a group that marched on a west London police station to protest against repeated police raids on Mangrove, a popular Caribbean restaurant.

Howe and the eight others – known as the “Mangrove Nine” – endured a 55-day trial before finally being acquitted of the main charge: incitement to riot.

The trial managed to successfully highlight tensions between the black community and the British legal process, after Howe demanded an all-black jury. His request was rejected.

Howe would gain further prominence in 1981 when he led 20,000 people on a “Black People’s March” to protest against an investigation into the New Cross Fire, when 13 black teenagers were killed in a suspected arson attack.