Historic all-black line discusses past and future of black athletes in hockey

Damon Kwame Mason, Darrell Maxwell, Bob Dawson, Percy Paris, Willie O'Ree

Damon Kwame Mason, Darrell Maxwell, Bob Dawson, Percy Paris, Willie O'Ree

In 1970, Bob Dawson, Percy Paris, and Darrell Maxwell formed the first all-black line on a Canadian university hockey team. On October 12, the historic linemates revisited their alma mater for an exciting and moving evening looking at the history—and future—of black athletes in hockey, in Nova Scotia and internationally.

The evening included a screening of Soul on Ice: Past, Present, Future, a feature-length documentary about the history, current state of play, and prospects of black hockey players. Filmmaker Damon Kwame Mason was in attendance, along with Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the NHL and currently the league’s Diversity Ambassador.

Following the screening, the former players engaged in a panel discussion, moderated by former CBC sports broadcaster Bruce Rainnie, and shared stories of their youth and early athletic careers, and engaged with contemporary questions around politics, race, and sport.

The event received generous support from the Province of Nova Scotia 150 Forward Fund and, at Saint Mary’s University, the Office of the President, Alumni Affairs, the Department of History, the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Culture, and the Atlantic Canada Studies Program.