New $10 Bill Honouring Viola Desmond's Courage Is Here. And It's Vertical

Officials set to unveil new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond

The bill features Viola Desmond, a human rights icon whom you might remember from a Heritage Minute (below, in case you don't).

Born in 1914, Desmond rose to prominence as an entrepreneur, selling her own line of hair and skin products at a time when few local beauty schools accepted black students. She was required to receive cosmetology training in Montreal, Atlantic City, and one of Madam C.J. Walker's schools in NY due to discrimination. There are plans for a park in Toronto and streets in Montreal and Halifax to bear her name. "Her legal challenge galvanized the black community in Halifax's north end and paved the way for a broader understanding of the importance of human rights across our country".

Looking to kill time while her auto was being repaired, she stopped by a local movie theatre. Desmond, who had a white mother and Black father, sat in the "whites only" section of the theater instead of the balcony. "One woman's actions can really make a difference".

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She remained there until police arrived.

She was released after paying a $20 fine and $6 in court costs.

Viola Desmond stood up for civil rights in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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It would take 63 years for Nova Scotia to issue Desmond, who died in 1965, a posthumous apology and pardon. "Here I am, 64 years later - a black woman giving freedom to another black woman", Francis later told Maclean's Magazine.

The act of courage of viola Desmond, of which the majority of Canadians knew nothing for many decades, on Thursday, March 8, was finally rewarded at a ceremony in Halifax assigns Desmond the status of prominent figures in the struggle for civil rights. "It's beyond what I ever thought". Desmond, a beautician and entrepreneur from north end Halifax who sold her own line of cosmetics, was headed to Sydney, N.S., when her auto broke down.

The note - which is also the first in Canada to feature a vertical orientation - is expected to enter into circulation at the end of the year.

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