African American Studies
Norma Dixon grew up in a rural town in North Carolina, in a small town called Rockingham. It was a textile-manufacturing town. Dixon can trace her ancestry back to slavery and has deep southern roots. In addition to strong southern roots, Norma is also deeply religious. She described Sunday school as the beginnings of her formal education. By 10, she was able to listen, appreciate, and comprehend each church service.
When she finished high school in 1968, she attested Winston Salem State University. Dixon met her husband Nathaniel while at university and the two were married in 1974. Upon marriage, the two decided to live in New York.
The newly weds moved to the Bronx during the first year of her marriage. Nathaniel purchased an apartment along Mosholu Parkway in the Tracy Towers apartment complex. Nathaniel expressed a desire to be close to the Van Cortland Park in an attempt to ease the homesickness of his new wife.
In New York, Dixon was a teacher. She received her degree from teachers college at Columbia University in special education, teaching students who had mental disabilities. Dixon notes that the students she dealt with were some of the most tolerant people she had ever encountered in her life. She notes that coming from the south, being around complete and utter acceptance without any prejudice was a very special experience.
As a reverends wife, Dixon has a heavy hand in the church. She considers her faith and efforts within the church community as essential to her character and life.
Dixon, Norma. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. Digital Archive at Fordham University.