Science

New $10 bill unveiled featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond

New $10 bill unveiled featuring civil rights activist Viola Desmond

For the first time ever, a black civil rights icon is on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note - a new $10 bill featuring civil rights icon Viola Desmond has been unveiled.

Wanda Robson, seeing her sister's $10 bill for the first time, gasped, remarking that the artist beautifully captured every detail of her sister, saying, "It's as if she's in this room".

"I was speechless", she said describing her reaction to the bank note.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz were also on hand for the unveiling.

"It's an important story because it shows that standing up for what we believe, whether it's on the steps of Parliament Hill or in a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, can make our country and our world a better place for future generations", he said.

Canada is making history today on International Women's Day!

In 1946, Desmond refused to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre.




Desmond is the first African-American woman and the second woman in Canadian history to be placed on a currency.

The back of the new $10 bill features images and symbols that represent Canada's ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms.

The story of Desmond by and large was unknown for half a century, but in recent years the image of this courageous woman appeared on a stamp, and her name is ferry in Halifax harbour.

The civil-rights pioneer replaces Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, on the $10 note.

Desmond was removed from the theater, charged and fined for her act.

In 2010, the government of Nova Scotia issued an apology to Desmond, for prosecuting her and acknowledged her courage in resisting racial discrimination. "She's just one of many of us who have suffered".


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