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Aurora Almada e Santos

Cape Verdean poet, writer, and philologist, was one of the leading figures in the modernization of Cape Verdean literature that took place in the early twentieth century. Silva was born on 23 April 1907 in São Nicolau, Cape Verde. He attended elementary and secondary school in Cape Verde and finished the high school in Portugal, where he moved in 1922. His academic training was completed at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon between 1923 and 1928. He also studied philology at the same university from 1926 to 1930. His strong connection to Cape Verde led to his return to the archipelago in 1930, where his training allowed him to teach at the Gil Eanes High School in São Vicente. In 1938, he returned to Portugal for pedagogical training at Pedro Nunes High School and finished his additional studies in 1940 While ...


Mathias Hanses

Howard University professor of five decades, international authority on blacks in the ancient Mediterranean, and “dean” of African American classicists, was born in York County, Virginia, the son of Alice (née Phillips) and Frank Martin Snowden Sr., a War Department employee. The transatlantic turmoil of the 1910s swept the Snowdens from the rural South to Boston, Massachusetts. In 1917, the year the United States entered World War I, they joined increasing numbers of southern blacks who migrated to the brimming industrial centers of the North as military production needs peaked. For the Snowdens, at least, the move to New England was a success. Later in life, Frank Junior did not recall experiencing any discrimination as he grew up in racially diverse Roxbury, Massachusetts.

In 1922 Frank passed the entrance examination to the highly selective Boston Latin School The institution rigorously discarded those whose performance was considered subpar ...


Edward F. Sweat

The only son of Nathan and Catherine Tillman, Nathaniel Patrick Tillman, Sr. was born on January 17, 1898, in Birmingham, Alabama. Tillman's parents died when he was still a boy, and he was reared by his grandmother. He received his B.A. degree in 1920 from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. On September 13, 1920, Tillman married Mattie V. Reynolds. Two children were born from that union: Nathaniel P., Jr., who later became a well-known educator, and Virginia, later Mrs. Whatley. After spending two years as a teacher at Alcorn College in Mississippi, Tillman returned to Atlanta in 1924 and spent the remainder of his academic career there.

Tillman earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, in 1927 and 1940, respectively. He also studied at the University of Oxford in England in the summer of 1934 and ...


Eric J. Morgan

English philologist and writer, was born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Orange Free State, then an independent Boer republic in present-day South Africa. Tolkien’s mother and father, Mabel and Arthur, left their home in England after Arthur received a promotion to manage the office of his employer, Lloyd’s Bank, in Bloemfontein. After his birth in 1892, Tolkien lived in the frontier town of Bloemfontein with his family for three years. At one point during his brief childhood stay in South Africa, Tolkien was bitten by a spider in the family’s garden, an event that some critics, despite Tolkien’s claims that he had no memories of the incident, point to as a possible early inspiration for portions of his fictional work, particularly the giant spiders Ungoliant, Shelob, and their descendents in the forests of Mirkwood.

Tolkien left South Africa when he ...