Advertisement

Mural of famed boxer George Dixon unveiled in Africville

The George Dixon mural in Africville in Halifax, N.S.
The George Dixon mural in Africville in Halifax, N.S. Alicia Draus / Global News

A mural of famed boxer George Dixon was unveiled in Africville Saturday afternoon. The mural celebrates 150 years since his birth.

Dixon was born in Africville and went on to become not only the first Canadian-born boxing champion but the first-ever Black athlete to win a world championship in any sport. But in addition to his atheltic achievements, he’s also remembered for his efforts to fight back against racism.

READ MORE: A piece of Africville will return home as Nova Scotia Heritage Day focuses on razed community

“He was a humanist who went against the status quo at a time when it was dangerous to do so,” said Juanita Peters, the executive director of the Africville Museum.

“So he would say he wouldn’t fight in certain arenas if Blacks weren’t allowed to come in and see the event.”

Story continues below advertisement

For many in the community he’s an inspiration and the mural means a lot.

“It shows the potential, it shows how strong we are and how far we can actually go as African Nova Scotians,” said Letitia Fraser.

The unveiling on the mural was also a chance to highlight challenges that still exist today with Africville.

The annual Walk Ride and Roll to Africville was held just before the mural was unveiled. Lead by a police escort, dozens walked and biked from Mulgrave Park to Africville as a way to show the accessibility challenges for the area.

Commemorative stamp pays tribute to all-black hockey league in the Maritimes
Commemorative stamp pays tribute to all-black hockey league in the Maritimes

For most people, the only safe way to get to Africville is by car, anyone walking from Mulgrave park has to go up Barrington — a busy road with no sidewalks and no space beside the road to walk or cycle.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’ve been trying to get a metro stop here for years,” said Lyle Grant, chair of the Africville Heritage Trust.

So far, they’ve had no luck, but Coun. Lindell Smith has said he will continue to raise the issue at council.