Akron Deputy Mayor Sommerville interviewed by HistoryMakers
Akron Deputy Mayor Marco Sommerville was recently interviewed by HistoryMakers, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing stories about the Black experience. Photo courtesy of the City of Akron
AKRON — Akron Deputy Mayor Marco Sommerville was recently interviewed by The HistoryMakers, which is known as the digital repository of the Black Experience. They have interviewed al- most 3,600 African American leaders across a variety of disciplines — including the arts, business, civic engagement, education, entertainment and more — in over 450 U.S. cities and towns. With the Library of Congress serving as their official repository, The HistoryMakers collection has more than 11,000 hours of testimony. “I’m proud to congratulate my friend and colleague Marco Sommerville on this well-deserved recognition,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Marco has been a dedicated public servant to the Akron community for decades and his record speaks for itself. To receive an honor like this from The HistoryMakers is yet another accomplishment to add to his long list of hard-earned achievements.” Sommerville has been a public servant and business owner for more than a quarter of a century. His first political experience was working on Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign. Three years later, in 1986, he ran for his first political office and was elected to serve as the Akron City Council representative for Ward 3. In 2000, his peers elected him as Council President. He served as both president and Ward 3 Council representative until the end of 2012, when he resigned to accept his appointment as Akron’s planning director. When Horrigan took office in 2016, he appointed Sommerville as deputy mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs and senior advisor to the mayor, positions he still holds. Sommerville was the first African American elected to the Summit County Board of Elections and the first African American Chairman of the Board of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. “I want to thank The HistoryMakers for this incredible honor,” said Sommerville. “I’ve watched many of the interviews they’ve done over the years with some of the greatest minds of the Black community and to be included in that outstanding group of individuals is such a privilege for me. Adding my experience as a Black leader in my city to the archives is a really proud moment for me and I can’t wait to share that interview with everyone when it’s available.” Though his interview will not become available on The HistoryMakers Digital Archive until 2025, Sommerville’s pro- file will be listed on their website and he will be provided with his own copy of the interview. An additional copy of the interview will be sent immediately to the Library of Congress’s Pack- ard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, where their collection is housed. Sommerville joins a long and prestigious list of interview- ees including U.S. Army Gen. Colin Powell; actors James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad; Motown founder Berry Gordy; comedian Whoopi Goldberg; poet Maya Angelou; and former President Barack Obama.