Civil rights activist, Darcus Howe, who campaigned against racism for more than 50 years has died at the age of 74.

Howe, who was a fierce opponent of police brutality, was born in Trinidad in 1943 and moved to the UK in 1961. He abandoned his plan to study law at London’s Middle Temple for activism.

He joined the Black Panthers – an anti-racism movement – after experiencing prejudice from white Britons towards the Afro-Caribbean community.

Howe came to public attention in 1970 as a member of the Mangrove Nine, when he marched to the police station in Notting Hill, London, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant.

He organized a 20,000-strong “Black People's March” in 1981 in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, when 13 black teenagers died.

He also wrote columns for the New Statesmen and The Voice.

“Howe was one of the first people to empower young black people and oppose racism in the United Kingdom,” Weyman Bennett, the joint national convener for Stand Up Against Racism, told Al Jazeera.

“He led the fight against the [far-right] National Front in the 1970s and 1980s, a forerunner to today's organisations that are Islamophobic and fascist,” Bennett said, adding that Howe was outspoken on Islamophobia, and how Muslims were being demonized by authorities.