Questions on Viola Desmond!

Answer the following questions to learn more about Viola Desmond and how she impacted society!

In 1946, Viola Desmond challenged racial discrimination when she refused to leave the segregated Whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Born in Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond was a Canadian civil, women's rights activist and businesswoman. In 2018, Desmond became the first Canadian woman to appear alone on a Canadian bank note, the $10 bill.



1. In the year Viola Desmond refused to leave the segregated Whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre how do think Black people living in Canada felt? How would you feel living in a segregated society and how would you cope?

2. If you were Viola Desmond, what would you do in the same situation? Keep in mind this is occuring in a time of segregation. If a police officer asked you to move in a public place now, how would you respond? 

3. If you were the police officer who approached Desmond, what is another way you might handle the situation?


1. How do you feel when you have heard racist or sexist comments towards you or in your presence? Describe how you think the recipient of these comments felt?
2. What do you think is the legacy of Viola Desmond and her impact on Canadian society? Discuss your answer.
3. Do you personally relate to Viola Desmond's story? Why or why not and how?
4. What lessons have you learned from Viola's story that if all Canadians learned the same things, would help society
5. Pick something you think people should know about Viola Desmond and use the resources below to create a podcast or tik-tok video about Viola Desmond. 
6. African-Canadians did not enjoy equality how other Canadian during the time of Desmond's arrest. Use the resources attached in combination with your own research to create a story/essay/visual/ video about the oppression of Black people when Viola Desmond was arrested.
7. Viola Desmond was the victim of systemic racism. Research how African-Canadians were oppressed in other areas of society at the time.
8. Explain how systemic racism operated against Black women specifically at the time of Desmond’s arrest and in Canada presently?
9. What is "racial discrimination"? What are past and present day examples of it in society? How can it be fought against or its effect minimized?


What were the key factors that led Viola Desmond to challenge racial segregation in Nova Scotia's movie theaters, and how did her actions help pave the way for the broader civil rights movement in Canada?
To what extent did Viola Desmond's decision to refuse to move from the "whites-only" section of a movie theater reflect a personal act of defiance, and to what extent was it influenced by broader social and political forces at work in Canadian society at the time?
In what ways did the treatment of Viola Desmond by law enforcement officials and the legal system reflect broader patterns of racial discrimination and injustice in Canada during the mid-20th century?
How has Viola Desmond's legacy influenced the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equity in Canada, and what lessons can be drawn from her life and activism for contemporary social movements?
To what extent do debates about Viola Desmond's role in Canadian history reflect larger questions about how to commemorate and remember the contributions of marginalized communities and individuals to national narratives


1. Viola Desmond | New Face on Canada's $10 Bill

2. Long Road to Justice - The Viola Desmond Story (Full Documentary)

3. The story of Viola Desmond


1. Viola Desmond National Historic Person (1914-1965)

2. 5 Interesting Facts About Viola Desmond

3. Civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond commemorated at site of her 1946 arrest