The Viola Desmond Belated Birth Day Thread

At the risk of stealing Canadave87’s bit, today’s thread is a bit of Canadiana for you.

For quick-n-easy context, Viola Desmond is sometimes described as “Canada’s Rosa Parks.” Not that it’s a competition, but Parks should really be described as “America’s Viola Desmond.”

In 1946, nine years before Rosa Parks’ own stand, Viola Desmond was arrested for refusing to leave the “whites-only” section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She spent the night in jail and was fined $20, plus another $6 in court costs.

The publicity around Desmond’s case was partially credited with spelling the end of legal segregation in Nova Scotia in 1954.

She was officially pardoned in 2010. This year, the federal government announced she would be first (non-royal) woman and first black person to appear on a Canadian banknote!


Viola’s birthday was July 6th, but I wasn’t free to write about her that week. So happy belated, Viola. You kick ass.

[Header image is from a children’s book titled Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged!]