Ancestry.com

John and Vada Sommerville—Civil Rights Dynamic Duo

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 1, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site

Born in Jamaica, John Somerville got his first taste of Jim Crowe-era discrimination the day he got off a ship in San Francisco in 1902 and couldn’t find a decent room or meal.

He didn’t like it.

 

John and Vada Sommerville from the California, African American Who’s Who, 1948, database.

This Who’s Who bio explains how John and his wife, Vada, spent the rest of their lives fighting back: becoming the first black man and woman to graduate from USC’s dental school, seeing the local NAACP branch organized in their home—even opening their own hotel.

You can learn more about finding your own civil rights warriors at ancestry.com/africanamerican.

Leave a comment

Comment on this articleCommenting is open until Friday, 15 February 2013

We really do appreciate your feedback, and ask that you please be respectful to other commenters and authors. Any abusive comments may be moderated.

Add comment

Looking for help with a specific problem? Try contacting Customer Service.

Discuss more Ancestry.com topics in the Message Boards.

About the Ancestry.com blog

Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at Ancestry.com. We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we’re building to help connect families over distance and time.

Visit Ancestry.com
Notifications

Receive updates from the Ancestry.com blog Learn more