Viola Desmond, Canadian Entrepreneur

✨SKWOODLE WOMAN✨ Viola Desmond was a Canadian entrepreneur and business woman who challenged racial segregation in 1946. This was a time when Black women were expected to be servants in houses, and Black men were expected to be servants on trains.⁠

From a young age, Viola dreamed of having her own business and by age 32 she was making her dreams come true – she had her own beauty salon, her own line of products and had set up a school to train other Black women to do beauty work when few local beauty schools accepted black students.⁠

On November 8, 1946 she refused to sit in the balcony section – where Black patrons were expected to sit – of New Glasgow’s Roseland Theatre. She was removed and spent the night in jail.⁠

She fought the case in court and sparked a nationwide debate about desegregation. She was officially pardoned in 2010 and earlier in 2018 became the first woman to be featured on Canadian currency. Her $10 bill is the first Canadian bank note to be oriented vertically – how appropriate that her denomination is bold and unique! ⁠

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