PORTSMOUTH, Va. – I.C. Norcom High School will receive a historical highway marker honoring its namesake, Israel Charles Norcom.
Israel Charles Norcom worked as an educator and administrator in Portsmouth schools for over 30 years.
I.C. Norcom High School first opened in 1920 and the school retained the name with each new building.
According to Portsmouth Public Schools, I.C. Norcom HIgh has been an integral part of Portsmouth’s African American community. Norcom students concted sit-ins to desegregate Portsmouth lunch counters in 1960.
The African American Historical Society of Portsmouth worked with School Board Clerk Kathy Chambliss to work to make I.C. Norcom High a state landmark.
The Society is led by Portsmouth historian and community advocate Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, who helped open the Colored Community Library Museum. Herman Weaver, whose grandmother served as the school’s assistant principal in the 1920s, led the research effort.
The marker will read:
Israel Charles Norcom High School
I.C. Norcom (1856-1916) was an African American educator and administrator who served Portsmouth schools for more than 30 years. The first school to bear his name opened in 1920 three quarters of a mile southeast of here. Principal William E. Riddick and vice principal Lavinia M. Weaver led it for decades. The school moved into a new building nearby in 1937 and again relocated to a new facility, about a mile southwest of here, in 1953. The school’s academic, athletic, and cultural programs were central to the community. Students conducted sit-ins to desegregate Portsmouth lunch counters in 1960, and alumni became local, state, and national leaders. Norcom High School moved here in 1998.
Sponsor: African American Historical Society of Portsmouth
There word on a date for the marker’s installation.