Jon Stallworthy was born on January 18, 1935 in London, England. He served as second lieutenant in the Nigeria Regiment of the West African Frontier Force in the mid-1950s. After completing his national service, he studied English literature at Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he won the Newdigate Prize for his poem The Earthly Paradise in 1958. His first collection of poetry, The Astronomy of Love, was published in 1961. His other collections of poetry include Root and Branch, Hand in Hand, A Familiar Tree, The Anzac Sonata, The Guest from the Future, Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems, Body Language, and War Poet. He received the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award in 2010 in recognition of his sustained body of work as a poet. He also wrote an autobiography entitled Singing School: The Making of a Poet. He wrote biographies about several poets including Wilfred Owen, Boris Pasternak, Alexander Blok, Herbert Read, and Geoffrey Dearmer. His biography of Louis MacNeice won the Southern Arts Literature Prize. He edited several collections of poetry including The Penguin Book of Love Poetry, The Oxford Book of War Poetry, and Complete Poems and Fragments. He also taught English literature at Cornell University and Wolfson College, Oxford University. He died on November 19, 2014 at the age of 79.
Civil rights leader and author, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on February 23, 1868. He earned a B.A. from both Harvard and Fisk universities, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and studied at the University of Berlin. He taught briefly at Wilberforce University before he came professor of history and economics at Atlanta University in Ohio (1896-1910). There, he wrote The Souls of Black Folk (1903), in which he pointed out that it was up to whites and blacks jointly to solve the problems created by the denial of civil rights to blacks. In 1905, Du Bois became a major figure in the Niagara Movement, a crusading effort to end discrimination. The organization collapsed, but it prepared the way for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in which Du Bois played a major role. In 1910, he became editor of the NAACP magazine, a position he held for more than 20 years. Du Bois returned to Atlanta University in 1932 and tried to implement a plan to make the Negro Land Grant Colleges centers of black power. Atlanta approved of his idea, but later retracted its support. When Du Bois tried to return to NAACP, it rejected him too. Active in several Pan-African Congresses, Du Bois came to know Fwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, and Jono Kenyatta the president of Kenya. In 1961, the same year Du Bois joined the Communist party, Nkrumah invited him to Ghana as a director of an Encyclopedia Africana project. He died there on Aug. 27, 1963, after becoming a citizen of that country.