Summary: A Microhistory Analysis Of Viola Irene Desmond

Words: 1338
Pages: 6

This microhistory analysis will definer the impact of Viola Irene Desmond’s arrest at a theater in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, and the impact that she had on the Canadian Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1940s. During the arrest, Desmond rejecting the unwritten law that prevented people of African descent from sitting in the lower levels of the theater. Desmond was arrested after refusing to sit in the balcony, which resulted in a “rigged” trial that condemned her for violating these racial customs in New Glasgow. During sentencing, the institutional racism of the Courts fined Desmond for C$20 for the ticket that she bought at the Roseland Theater. More so, the courts sentenced Desmond with tax code violations as part of the institutional racism tht punished her for not obeying the racist rules of the Roseland Theater. The significance of this incident provided an inspiration for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, which eventually banned segregation in Canada. Desmond eventually left Canada after losing her business, but her legacy defines the “separate, but equal” policies of the Canadian government before the Civil Rights era. In essence, a microhistory analysis of Desmond’s arrest, trial, and sentencing will define the …show more content…
Desmond’s parents, Gwendolyn Irene Davis and James Albert, were an unusual couple in a predominantly white society , since they were white and black. These racial circumstances made Desmond a “mixed-blood” Canadian, which defined the overt social and institutional biases against people of color living in Canada during the first half of the 20th century. In her early twenties, Desmond sought to innovate facial and hair products for black women, since there were no products being made for these women. More so, Desmond and her husband, Jack, opened a beauty school to promote these products called The Desmond School of Beauty Culture, which became very popular amongst women of color in New