This bit of international #BlackGirlMagic is bound to brighten up your day! As Americans, we are well aware of all the benefits of living in Canada, including how forward-thinking they are in ways that we have yet to catch up to. Well they are taking another giant step forward by officially putting a black woman on their currency for the first time in the country’s history.
Viola Desmond was a black-rights activist who many often referred to as “the black Rosa Parks” and now she has the esteemed honor of being the very first woman to appear on Canadian currency as the face of the $10 bill. Desmond was courageous, fearless and took a stand on a number of issues that were pertinent to blacks during the late 40s and beyond. The Cut has all of the inspiring details of Canada’s groundbreaking decision, including further insight into just who Desmond was.
Via The Cut:
Canada announced on Thursday that black-rights activist Viola Desmond has been selected as the first Canadian woman to appear on its $10 bill. Desmond is often called “Canada’s Rosa Parks,” though perhaps Parks should be called “America’s Viola Desmond.” On November 8, 1946, Desmond defiantly sat in the “whites only” section of a movie theatre in Nova Scotia — nine years before Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, CBC reports. As black people were only allowed to sit in the balcony of the theater, Desmond was sent to jail for her “crime.”
She was convicted of defrauding the province out of the difference in cost between the upstairs and downstairs ticket — a tax of one penny. However, Desmond had actually asked to pay the difference, according to CBC, and she was released after paying a $20 fine and court costs of $6. She later appealed her conviction and lost, though Desmond was granted a free pardon posthumously in 2010.
Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz announced her selection to the purple $10 bill at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. She will replace Sir John A. MacDonald, the country’s first prime minister, starting in 2018.
This is just the sort of good news that we at HB love to hear about, especially when it involves a strong black woman being honored for her admirable contributions. Let’s hope that Harriet Tubman will get the same treatment here in The States sooner rather than later.
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