Canada has a history of making famous figures who have taken matters in their own hands to make a difference. Viola Desmond the first female to be on the ten 10$ bill, but that’s not just one of her significant things she has done in Canada’s history. Viola Desmond significant acts was her, Entrepreneur and being Community Leader, standing up in the Roseland Theatre and the Trial.
Viola Desmond is essential to Canadian history as she is the first woman to be on the $10. These are the 3 reasons why she is important to Canadian history. Her essential acts is being an Entrepreneur and being Community Leader, standing up in the Roseland Theatre and the Trial.
Entrepreneur and being a Community Leader.
In the early 1900s, many people wore hairstyles that needed lots of special products and maintenance. Since these hair and beauty styles became such a big trend, there were opportunities for female entrepreneurs to open businesses. Beauty salons became a center of the Black community, it was a place for Black women to get together and talk. Viola quickly became successful while opening her hair salon.She opened a beauty school, the Desmond School of Beauty Culture. Desmond made the school in order to help young Black women gain work skills. Women from all across Canada enrolled in her school. The school later trained all the employees to become beauticians, which they found fascinating with all of desmond’s help. She then stretched out her whole business across the province which then later on was becoming one of the biggest hair salons in their province. She then began the to create her own beauty line of products. Making a successful black-owned brand was very rare at the time. Black Canadians were still being so heavily discriminated against. Discrimination was at its peak during the Viola Desmond times, but without these discriminating things said to her, she wouldn’t be the person who she was today and the difference she made in today’s society. Although racism was not officially part of Canadian society, there were things that black Canadians “just couldn’t do.” But for Viola these minor setbacks came into a major comeback, as this didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams and becoming the person she is today and the difference she made in today’s society.
The night of 8 November 1946, Viola Desmond made an unexpected stop in the small community of New Glasgow after her car broke down while on going to a business meeting in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She was told that the repair is going to take hours, so she then booked an hotel close by the garage, she then decided what’s a better thing to do to waste a few hours.she then began to go to the roseland theatre. At the Roseland Theatre, Viola payed for a ticket for a seat on the main floor. The ticket seller handed Desmond a ticket to the balcony instead, the balcony level was for non whites. Walking into the main floor seating area not knowing that the ticket handler gave her a balcony ticket, she was challenged by the ticket-taker, who told her that her ticket was for an upstairs seat, where she would have to move. Desmond was then confronted by the manager, who argued that the theatre had the right to “refuse admission to any objectionable person.” Desmond pointed out that she had not been refused admission and had in fact been sold the ticket, which she still held in her hand. She added that she had attempted to exchange it for a main floor ticket and was willing to pay the difference in cost but had been refused. When she declined to leave her seat, a police officer was called. Desmond was dragged out of the theatre, injuring her hip and knee in the process, and taken to jail. There she was met by the chief of police, returning an hour later with a warrant for Desmond’s arrest. She was then held in a cell overnight.
The Roseland Theatre said that Viola was arrested for not paying the 1 penny difference between the “colored” seating upstairs and the “white” seating downstairs. She explained to the judge that she offered to pay the difference but the manager refused.The judge did not want to discuss how unfair it was that black customers had to sit in different theatre seats than white customers. Even though in Canada there was no official law saying that movie theatre’s were segregated, the manager of the theatre said, its “traditional” that blacks sit together in the balcony. Although everyone knew that anyone who fought against the segregated seating would be in big trouble. Since the Supreme Court can choose to listen to some cases and not others, her case was rejected and she was told to pay an unfair fine.After this decision, Viola decided to listen to her husband, Jack who began to worry about her safety. Black Canadians who fought against segregation and racism could be threatened and hurt by people who do not want society to change. Many activists receive death threats and they and their family could be hurt. So Viola did not have a 3rd court case. Many black people in Viola’s community were afraid that by being around her and going to her business that they could be hurt or further discriminated against. So she closed her very successful business and schools across Nova Scotia and left the country.