The People, Places, and the History of The Northern Neck of VA

APFK Season 1
Episode 2: Dr. James E. C. Norris part 1

Dr. James E. C. Norris wrote a book about his father, Dr. Morgan E. Norris, who was also an activist; a determined voice who was heard not only on the Northern Neck, but in the capital of the Commonwealth, demanding the assurance that the black community received proper medical care and proper resources for an education.

Dr. Norris continued the tradition his father started; observing a need, then addressing that need with resolve to eliminate it. As a young man, then husband, then father, he persevered through the  war in Southeast Asia, and in the continued war against Jim Crow on American soil.

He is a United States Naval veteran. He was Chief of Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Tuskegee, Alabama. He is a board-certified general surgeon and established his practice as a plastic surgeon in New York City.

Now retired, Dr. James E. C. Norris’ journey still continues, as he researches for material for his second book and still traveling at the tender age of ninety.

Fight On My Soul cover


Dr. James E. C. Norris is the author of “Fight On, My Soul,” a biography about his father, Dr. Morgan E. Norris, The Northern Neck’s first Black physician and an activist for Black rural education. Dr. Norris is also a retired plastic surgeon and general surgeon.

Show Notes

  • 9:32 We would have to get firewood and help start the fire and help do the cleaning.
  • 20:40 We were shining a white man's shoes and I will never forget it, he yanked the shoe box from under the man's foot, didn't say a word to the man and grabbed us and told us get in the car, he has some work for us to do.
  • 23:52 He looked at it and called his supervisor, they looked at it and I said look it's frozen, it's not explosive.
  • 26:10 I'm almost ninety years old and I have not seen this level of meanness that I have seen now.
  • 28:46 For no reason at all, they just looked at me and said you're nothing but a n****r
  • 42:28 Don't let those rascals in New York pigeonhole you and put you in a box and label you a black plastic surgeon.
  • 48:11 The Black culture in America does not put a premium on small businesses.

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