Who was Viola Desmond?
Viola Desmond is popular for refusing to leave a “white-only” section of a theater on Nov. 8, 1946 – a decade before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus. Over 70 years after, Desmond was honored last week as the first Black person and the first non-Royal woman ever to be featured alone on Canadian currency.
Viola Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson, was one of the first people in Canada to receive a copy of the new $10 bill. In a Bank of Canada video, she said her sister’s photo on it is “so life-like. It’s as if she’s in this room!”