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Transcript of By:Harnoor Benipal
About Viola Desmond
I don't know about you, but I think that Viola Desmond is a very important, inspiring, brave and courageous women. She stood up for her rights and represented how many other black canadians were feeling about racism.
Now here are two quick videos about Viola Desmond. Just to let you know that this isn't the real Viola Desmond. It is just someone acting as her.
Good morning 5E! I'm Harnoor and for today's T.U.S.C., I am doing Famous Canadian. Since it is Black History Month, I will be talking about a African Canadian named Viola Desmond. She was a Nova Scotian businesswomen who challenged racial segregation at a movie theatre. During this presentation, I will tell you all about her and show you two quick videos at the end! Now let's begin!
As I said before, Viola Desmond was a Nova Scotian businesswomen. She trained as a teacher but soon joined her husband, Jack Desmond, in a combined barbershop, hairdressing salon, and a beauty parlour. She is also remembered for establishing a beauty school catering to the needs of black women and launching a successful beauty products line for women of Africa descent. She is also remembered for fighting for the rights of fellow African Canadians by refusing to change her seat at the movie theatre.
Now that we have learned a lot about Viola Desmond, I guess it is the end of my presentation! Bye!
In New Glasgow, on November 8, 1946
Viola's car broke down so she decided to go watch a movie at the Roseland Theatre. She bought a ticket, entered the theatre and took a seat on the main floor. Viola was not aware that the tickets sold to African Canadians in this town were for the balcony and the tickets sold to White people were for the main floor. When the theatre staff told her to move, she refused, since she had a better view of the movie there. Then they called the police and dragged her out. While doing that, she injured her hip and knee. Viola was arrested and jailed overnight.
In the morning, she was sent to coart. Racism wasn't even mentioned there however, she was charged because she failed to pay a 19 cent extra tax for her ticket. Viola was fined $20 and sentenced to 30 days in prison. Fortunately, the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, and other friends, helped her win her appeal. Newspapers such as the Clarion which was published by Carrie Best of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in the 1940s and 1950s, reported on Viola's story. Also, the publicity helped to put an end to this discrimination.