A tribute to Jessye & Dr. Silas Norman

This profile first appeared in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Classical Roots Gala program.

If, as the saying goes, a life worth living is one lived for others, then Jessye Norman and her brother Dr. Silas Norman Jr. have lived indeed.

Silas, the singer, physician and activist, and Jessye, an oft-awarded, legendary soprano, have enhanced the lives of friends and strangers alike through performance, activism and philanthropy.

At the time of his death in July 2015 at age 74, Dr. Norman was associate dean of Admissions, Diversity and Inclusion for Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. His efforts to increase the numbers of African-Americans in the medical industry, work in securing medical care for residents of urban communities and prisons and pursuits for social justice earned the humble, dedicated family man numerous accolades. At the same time, Dr. Norman served faithfully at church and used his talent as a singer for the benefit of many.

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