British black power activist Darcus Howe dies at age 74

The biographer of British black power activist Darcus Howe says the influential member of the "Mangrove Nine" has died at age 74.

Cambridge University researcher Robin Bunce described Howe as the most prominent black power activist of his generation in Britain and the country's principle figure in the fight against institutional racism.

Howe led a 1970 campaign to stop the Metropolitan Police from closing down the Mangrove Restaurant in London, a hub of black culture. Police raided the restaurant a dozen times, triggering a backlash that climaxed in a pitched battle between officers and protesters.

Howe and eight others — the "Mangrove Nine" — were charged with riot, affray and assault. The trial and Howe's ultimate acquittal brought public attention to the issue.

Before his death, Howe had suffered from prostate cancer.