March 8, 2018

Viola Desmond refused to sit in the colored section of a movie theatre in 1946 and went to jail for it. Desmond is the first woman besides the Queen and the first person of color to be on a Canadian bank note.

Source: The Root

While Americans are still waiting to deposit Harriet Tubmans in their bank accounts, our neighbors to the north have just unveiled a new $10 bill that features their own civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond.

As the Toronto Star reports, Desmond was honored Thursday in a ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the new bill was unveiled. She’s the first black person to grace Canadian money, and the first nonroyal woman.

Desmond was picked for her seminal role in Canada’s civil rights movement. In November 1946, she refused to leave a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater. Authorities had to drag her out of the theater, and Desmond was thrown in jail for 12 hours and fined for her disobedience. Her actions predate those of her better-known counterpart, Rosa Parks, by nearly a decade, the Star notes.

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