Viola Desmond Becomes The First Black Person To Appear On The Canadian $10 Bill


Canada has honored Viola Desmond. The late Black Canadian activist who in 1946 refused to leave the whites-only section of a movie theater in her country has been honored on latest 10 Canadian dollar bill.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau with Viola Desmond’s sister Wanda Robson


In 1946 when segregation was at its peak, the young Viola Desmond, who was a 32-year-old beautician  at the time was on a business trip when her car broke down in New Glasgow. To while away the time when her vehicle was being repaired, Viola apparently decided to visit Roseland Theater. Unfortunately it was a segregated theater, floor seats were for white people while Blacks had to make do with the balcony.


Our home girl took a cue from Rosa Parks, Viola Desmond sat at the front and remained there until the police arrived. The police dragged her out of the theater. She was arrested and convicted.

Viola Desmond died in 1965 at the age of 50 but her memory still lives on. In 2010, she was given a posthumous apology and pardon her arrest and conviction. Viola has been honored with a Canadian postage stamp. Halifax also named a ferry and street after her.


Guess this is what the saying ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history’ means

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