Racial Injustice Trailblazer Viola Desmond Featured On New Vertical Banknote

On International Women’s Day, Canada unveiled its first-ever bank note bearing vertical images, honoring a woman who stood up against racism more than seven decades ago. The new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond was presented today in Nova Scotia, the province that jailed her in 1946 for sitting outside a movie theater zone that was segregated for black people.

Following remarks by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, her surviving sister Wanda Robson stole the show. Flashing the note to someone in the crowd she drew laughs by joking, “Don’t look at my bill, you can’t have it.” She later was moved to tears with the tributes, saying “I will never ever forget this day. I can’t — it’s written in history.”

Image source: Handout / The Canadian Press

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