Civil Rights Figure Viola Desmond Is The Face Of Canada's $10 Bill

Viola Desmond takes her place as Canadian civil rights icon with new $10 bill    
     The Canadian PressMar. 8 2018 7:30

The new bill was unveiled this week, featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond.

The bank note, released on International Women's Day, is the first in Canada to feature a vertical design.

It includes a portrait of Desmond, who is the first black person and the first non-royal woman, on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.

In 1946, Desmond refused to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre.

There is also an eagle feather that is the First Nations symbol of truth, power and freedom. "One woman's actions can really make a difference".

"I say thank you, thank you, thank you", said Robson.

HRM also named a harbour ferry in honour of Desmond, unveiling back in June 2016. Desmond, a beautician and entrepreneur, selling her own line of cosmetics, heading to Sydney, Nova Scotia when her auto broke down.

"I'm numb with joy", Robson said at the time of her sister's pardon.

More than 70 years later, Desmond's act of defiance has been cemented into Canadian civil rights history. "She's just one of many of us who have suffered".

After being forced to travel to Montreal, Atlantic City and NY for training, she returned to Halifax and opened a beauty school aimed at offering black people a local option for training. Left in new Glasgow for the night, she made a decision to watch a movie in the cinema Roseland Theatre.

Because she could not see well from the balcony where black patrons were relegated to sit, she sat on the floor level reserved for whites. This happened nine years before Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

She was dragged out of the theatre by police, arrested, thrown in jail for 12 hours and fined. "There was no movement behind her, she was ahead of the times".

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for that", she said on Thursday.


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