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Commemorative plaque unveiled to honour boxing legend George Dixon

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Dozens were on hand at the Africville Museum in Halifax, to honour and celebrate the life and legacy of George Dixon.

“It is vital, that we commemorate our history and share the stories of the past for future generations,” said Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia Executive Director, Russell Grosse.

Born in Africville, in 1870, Dixon was the first black boxer and Canadian to win a world title and the first to capture titles in multiple weight divisions.

“Here’s a small guy from Africville, a community that most people didn’t even know existed,” said author and historian Craig Smith, who added Dixon was confronted with abuse and racism and was victorious on the world stage, at a time when black people lived with segregation and extreme forms of suppression. “And yet he was able to be the best at his sport in the world.”

According to North Preston, Nova Scotia native and former professional heavyweight boxer Kirk Johnson, the success Dixon achieved in his career and barriers he overcame, provided a boxing path for others to follow.

“I was always looking out for role models,” said Johnson. “But when I found out about George Dixon, I thought ‘you know what I have a role model right here at home’. I didn’t have to look far at all.”

Today, a new permanent George Dixon plaque was unveiled at the Africville site in North End Halifax.

Dixon’s relatives Aaliyah Arab-Smith and Terrie and Edward Dixon were on hand to witness and help celebrate the dedication.

“All of our ancestors are looking down on us with great smiles,” said Terrie Dixon. “He deserves everything that is owed to him.”

A world champion, iconic boxing legend is now celebrated in the Historic Africville community, where George Dixon was born and raised.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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