- Publisher: Fernwood Publishing
- ISBN: 9781552668375
- Price: $30.00 CAD
- Publication Date: Jan 2016
- Rights: World
- Pages: 200
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Viola Desmond’s Canada
A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land
In 1946, Viola Desmond was wrongfully arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In 2010, the Nova Scotia Government recognized this gross miscarriage of justice and posthumously granted her a free pardon.
Most Canadians are aware of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a racially segregated bus in Alabama, but Viola Desmond’s act of resistance occurred nine years earlier. However, many Canadians are still unaware of Desmond’s story or that racial segregation existed throughout many parts of Canada during most of the twentieth century. On the subject of race, Canadians seem to exhibit a form of collective amnesia. Viola Desmond’s Canada is a groundbreaking book that provides a concise overview of the narrative of the Black experience in Canada. Reynolds traces this narrative from slavery under French and British rule in the eighteenth century to the practice of racial segregation and the fight for racial equality in the twentieth century. Included are personal recollections by Wanda Robson, Viola Desmond’s youngest sister, together with important but previously unpublished documents and purchase pfizer zithromax 250mg spain other primary sources in the history of Blacks in Canada.
“Reynolds’ book is a significant and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of African Canadian history and social justice studies. I thank him for writing this book.”
— Afua Cooper, James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dalhousie University
“An impressive book that tackles much more than the experience of Viola Desmond. Reynolds’ work is a wide-ranging discussion of the broad themes of slavery, race, segregation and historical memory.”
— Harvey Amani Whitfield, University of Vermont
Part I. A Narrative History
A Narrative of Race in Canadian History from Slavery to the Underground Railroad
The Many Faces of Jim Crow: Racial Segregation in Canada 1880–1960
My Early Memories of Race, My Sister Viola and My Journey of Self-Discovery (Wanda Robson)
Part II. A Documentary History
Marie Marguerite Rose: What Her Inventory of Material Possessions Tells Us About Slavery and Freedom in Eighteenth-Century New France
West Indian Immigration to Canada 1900–1920: What the Census Figures Don’t Tell Us
The Culture of Racism in Canada: Burning Crosses, Blackened-Faced Actors and Minstrel Shows
Pearleen Oliver: Pioneer in the Fight to End Racial Discrimination
Appendix: The Promised Land Project Symposium Round Table Discussion
About the Authors
Graham Reynolds is a professor emeritus and the Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice at Cape Breton University.
Wanda Robson is the author of Sister to Courage: Stories from the World of Viola Desmond, Canada’s Rosa Parks.