Viola Desmond was a Black businesswoman with a beauty salon and a beauty school in Halifax. While in New Glasgow in 1946, she went to a movie and sat in the “whites only” section of the theatre. When she refused to move to the “coloured only” section, the police arrested her and threw her jail.  She was charged and convicted of tax evasion because there was a difference of one cent in the ticket tax paid by Blacks and Whites. Desmond acted nine years before the famed incident by civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the U.S. and her story was one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history.  In 2010, the government of Nova Scotia apologized for her conviction and she was granted a posthumous pardon.

Written by Dr Valerie Mason-John
Edited by David Woods
Performed by Jayla James