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Viola before Rosa

STORY BY: Beth Wilson
YEAR: 1946
LOCATION: New Windsor, NS

Beth was reminded of a story about Viola Desmond, a black Nova Scotian businesswoman who preceded both Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin in the Civil Rights movement. In 1946, she was arrested for sitting in the whites-only area at the racially segregated Roseland movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Her unjust conviction and highly-publicized trial launched the Civil Rights Movement in Canada. In February 2015, the province announced a new Heritage Day called Viola Desmond Day. Thanks for sharing, Beth.

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