Pan African Cultural Heritage Institute




Dr. Athony E. Dixon


Dr. Dixon is a native of Fort Valley, Georgia. In 1994, he received his B.S. in History with a minor in African American Studies from Florida A&M University. However, during his undergraduate studies, he became involved in many detrimental and illegal activities.    Thus unlike most hopeful graduates, he was incarcerated and subsequently served five and a half years in the Florida Department of Corrections.  Dr. Dixon explains that incarceration was a “nightmare, a blessing, and a learning experience all rolled up into one unforgettable experience.”  He was released from prison in late 1999.

In 2000, Dr. Dixon was given the opportunity to return to his alma mater and enter a master’s program.


In 2001, he received his M.A.S.S. (Master’s of Applied Social Science) from Florida A&M University with a concentration in History.  In 2001, he received a doctoral fellowship from Indiana University’s History Department where he majored in the African Diaspora.  His studies included African American History, and African History, with a minor in Library Science (specifically Special Collections and Archives).  In 2002, Dr. Dixon received a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship in which he entered the Summer Cooperative African Language Institute at Michigan State University.  There, he studied the African language Bamana. 

Upon finishing my doctoral coursework, in 2004 Dr. Dixon became an archival intern at the John G. Riley Museum, Tallahassee, Florida.  In 2006, he became a Visiting Professor at Florida A & M University as well as the head Archivist and Historian for the John G. Riley Museum.  In the following year (2007), he completed his dissertation entitled “Black Seminole Involvement and Leadership during the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842”, and received a Ph.D. in History from the Indiana University.  During that same year, he became the Museum Curator for the Virginia Key Beach Park Museum in Miami, Florida and an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University.  During that time, he continued to work with the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network as the Associate Director.  

In 2008, he became a Florida Commissioner for the National Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor, the only National African American Heritage Corridor in the United States.  He currently still holds this position. In 2009, Dr. Dixon ventured out and co-founded the Archival and Historical Research Associates, LLC, an archival and historical research firm.  Since 2009, Dr. Dixon has been the Director of Projects and Programs for the John G. Riley Museum, Assistant Director of the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, as well as an adjunct history professor at Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College. Also since 2009, he has become a member of the State of Florida Task Force on African American History.  This entity was created by the State of Florida’s Department of Education and is responsible for the implementation of African American History in Florida public schools.


According to Dr. Dixon, in 2012 he began to feel a strong sense of commitment to helping troubled young people. This in turn, caused him to create Up From Incarceration, a series of books dedicated to examining the incarceration phenomenon that is adversely affecting so many communities and families. “Volume I: Dispelling Myths of the Thug Life” is written primarily for young adults.  The objective of this volume is to dispel many of the myths that glorify being a gangster.





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