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Author to speak on his father, Dr. Morgan Norris Sr.

The late Morgan E. Norris Sr., M.D.
On Monday, February 15, Dr. James E.C. Norris, a native of Lancaster County and a retired plastic surgeon living in Manhattan, will discuss his just published book, “Fight On, My Soul: A colored doctor’s battle against disease, discrimination and ignorance in rural Jim Crow Virginia.“

The biography is of the author’s father, the late Morgan E. Norris Sr., M.D., who was a family physician in the lower Northern Neck for over 47 years.

The program will be held at 4 p.m. at the Lancaster Community Library at 235 School Street in Kilmarnock. The Mary Ball Washington Museum and the library are co-sponsors. Donations are appreciated. Reservations are requested. For reservations, contact the museum at 462-7280, or .

A book signing will follow the presentation. Books are available at the event or in advance at the museum gift shop for $16, tax included.

Dr. James Norris
A result of sound research and careful documentation, the book chronicles the struggles of an indomitable man who labored long and tirelessly for his beloved fellow citizens of the Northern Neck and the State of Virginia, said museum executive director Karen Hart. When Dr. Norris began his practice in Lancaster in 1917, he was the only black doctor in a county with 11 white doctors. When he died in 1966, the American Medical Association had yet to disavow local and state societies that discriminated against black physicians.

The book captures the struggles of Norris’ life and times and his efforts to provide better conditions for his family and his patients, said Hart.

Dr. James E.C. Norris will discuss the problems that physicians faced in medical practice in the South in the early 20th century. He will focus on his father’s response to the lack of specialty medical care in the lower Northern Neck, on his efforts to deal with the ravages of tuberculosis, on his promotion of education, and his leadership in community affairs.

The audience will hear how, through these different ventures, Dr. Norris was committed to healing the body, and the spirit, said Hart.

posted 02.03.2010

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