Jessie Matthews Vann succeeded her husband, the late Robert L. Vann, as owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Courier in 1940. It became one of the most circulated and powerful Black newspapers in the country.
Text from newspaper caption: Summer Benefit -- A garden party was held in the lovely Somerville Gardens recently by the Church of Christian Fellowship for the benefit of the summer work and craft program. Seen above are the hosts and guests of honor. Left to right: Mrs. G. Raymond Booth, Dr. G. Raymond Booth, co-pastor of the Church of Christian Fellowship, Mrs. Stewart Cole, Dr. Stewart Cole, executive, Pacific Coast Council of Intercultural Relations, Secretary Palmer Van Gundy, Los Angeles FEPS Committee, Dr. John A. Somerville, host, Mrs. Harold M. Kingsley, Rev. Harold M. Kingsley, executive pastor, Church of Christian Fellowship, Dr. Vada Somerville, hostess, Dr. Leslie Pinkney Hill, president, Cheney Teachers College. Los Angeles Sentinel, 21 Jul. 1947: 18.
Seated at a banquet table are G. Raymond Booth (2nd from left) and John Anson Ford (3rd from left), with three people standing behind them (from left): Reverend Harold M. Kingsley, Carol Brice, and Jackie Robinson.
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.