How dare they, I can afford the downstairs ticket, I run my own business.
Trials and Failures
I must keep myself calm and composed
Viola Desmond started her own business as a beautician, and she taught many young black women through her school of beauty culture.
You have attempted to defraud the provincial government based on your alleged refusal to pay the one cent amusement tax
Viola was on her way to a business meeting in Sydney, Nova Scotia, but had to make an unplanned stop in New Glasgow because her car had broken down. To pass the time of her car being fixed, Viola decided to see a movie. Viola requested a downstairs ticket, but the cashier refused to give her it, saying “I’m sorry but I’m not permitted to sell downstairs tickets to you people.”but Viola decided to sit in the downstairs area of the theatre anyway.
Viola Desmond will be the first Canadian woman to be featured by herself on a dollar bill
The owner of the theatre calls the police because Viola was sitting in the wrong seating area. Viola was violently dragged out of the theatre and taken to jail where she was held in a cell overnight.
Segregation is now legally ended
Viola was then taken to court and was fined 26 dollars for ‘attempting to defraud the provincial government based on her alleged refusal to pay a one cent amusement tax’, even though she was willing to pay the tax. She was convicted without legal representation, and at no point did they bring up the issue of race. She was unable to remove the charges against her, and went unpardoned, even with the efforts of the Nova Scotian black community fighting for her appeal.
I was willing to pay the extra tax for the downstairs ticket, but they refused me
The bank of Canada announced that Viola would be the first Canadian woman to be featured by herself on a dollar bill. The $10 bill with Viola Desmond’s face on it will be released in November 2018.
Segregation was legally ended in Nova Scotia in 1954 thanks to Viola Desmond and others like her who fought for civil rights, including all the people she inspired to make a change.