Wives of Sigma Phi Alpha fraternity members at Moulin Rouge, Los Angeles, 1945
- Wives of Sigma Phi Alpha fraternity members at Moulin Rouge, Los Angeles, 1945
- Alternative title
- Boule, Sigma Pi Phi fraternity
- Date Created
Miriam Matthews Photograph Collection
Sigma Pi Phi (ΣΠΦ) is the first successful and oldest African-American Greek-lettered organization.
Dr. Vada Somerville (born Vada Jetmore Watson) of Pomona graduated from USC, married dentist John Alexander Somerville (1912), was the first African American woman and the second African American person to graduate from USC School of Dentistry (1918), and was the first African American woman certified to practice dentistry in the state of California. She was a civil rights activist, highly involved in several civic and community organizations.
Ivan J. Johnson III was a Los Angeles attorney. He was one of the first African Americans to letter in track at USC and UC Berkeley. He was a charter member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Shortly before his death, he was honored by the Langston Law Club as the dean of local attorneys. He was married to Dorothy Vena Johnson.
Norman O. Houston was the president of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, at one time the largest black-owned business west of the Mississippi. He was the son of a pioneer California family, grew up in Oakland, and was a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Houston was a lieutenant in World War I and was a captain of the California state guard, reserve.
Group portrait of XI Boulé members with their wives at a gathering at Moulin Rouge. Identified persons include: Norman O. Houston (front row, center), Ivan J. Johnson (front row, right), and Drs. John and Vada Somerville (upper left with Vada in a white hat). The Moulin Rouge was located at 6230 Sunset Boulevard.
Dr. John Somerville, born in Jamaica, was the first black graduate of USC School of Dentistry (1907). He married Vada Jetmore Watson (1912), who also became a dentist. He built the Somerville Hotel (1928), was instrumental in the founding of the Los Angeles chapter of NAACP (1914).
- 1 photograph
- group portraits
- Subject topic
- African American Greek letter societies
Sigma Pi Phi
Houston, Norman O. (Norman Oliver), 1893-1981
Somerville, John Alexander, 1881-1973
Moulin Rouge (Nightclub : Los Angeles, Calif.)
Johnson, Ivan J., III, 1903-1975
Somerville, Vada, 1885-1972
- Subject geographic
- Los Angeles (Calif.)
- Resource type
- still image