Canadians are finally celebrating the achievements of a black female civil rights activist.
Viola Desmond was born in 1914 in Halifax, Canada. She is viewed to be Canada’s equivalent of Rosa Parks.
School children are celebrating her achievements with the creation of a children’s book. Children from a Grade 4 class in a school located in Nova Scotia helped to write the book. The book will be distributed to Grade 3 classrooms across the province.
The book, titled, ‘The ABCs of Viola Desmond’, will allow children to learn black Canadian history. The inspirational book celebrates the achievements of the black female activist.
Initially, the book had been entered into 2016’s African Nova Scotia history challenges. Publishing consultant, Tony Colaiacovo, instantly knew that it could be a classroom resource as it was “so outstanding”.
Every child in the grade 4 class drew a picture and wrote a text for the letter of the alphabet. Teacher, Beatrice Macdonald said it was important that each child participated.
Macdonald was bothered that so many knew of Rosa Parks but didn’t know Viola Desmond’s story. “You know, we had Viola Desmond right here in our own province”, Macdonald said.
The book tells a story that many have never heard. Desmond fought against segregation and racism. In 1946, Desmond bought a ticket to watch a movie. When seated in the theatre she was told “you can’t sit here”.
Desmond was told, “You have the wrong ticket. Your ticket is an upstairs ticket”. She offered to change her ticket but was arrested and fined $26. She was also charged with failing to pay a one-cent difference in tax.
Desmond appealed her case at Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court. Her courage has inspired many.
Canada is finally bringing her story to light. In December 2016, it was announced that Desmond will feature as the new face on the 10 dollar bill.
In 2018 she will become the first Canadian woman to feature on the bill.