Viola Desmond was an important Canadian civil rights activist. She stood up for the rights of Black people. Viola is commemorated on the Canadian ten dollar bill.
Viola was on a drive one day in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, when her car broke down. She decided to go to a movie while her car was being repaired by the mechanic. She bought a ticket to the movie theatre and took a seat near the front. Just as the movie started she felt a tap on her back. She turned around to see who it was. It was an usher who worked at the theatre. “Can I help you?” Viola asked. “Please move to the back. This is a white-only section”. Viola said “no” and was then arrested by the police.
Her arrest gained a lot of attention and really highlighted the unfairness of racial segregation. Viola Desmond’s actions inspired many Black people to stand up for their rights. She became known as an important civil right activist. Viola’s face is now on the Canadian ten dollar bill.
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