Viola Desmond is a true heroine of the civil rights movement. She was arrested on November 8th, 1946 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia after refusing to move from the whites-only section of a racially segregated movie theatre. Viola was removed from the theatre by force, subsequently jailed overnight, tried, convicted, and fined. All without access to legal representation. It was only as late as 2010 that she was granted a posthumous free pardon, and the government of Nova Scotia apologized. The case helped sway public opinion and put an end to segregation. Next year there will be a public holiday in Nova Scotia dedicated in her honour.
In the above illustration I strived to recreate the tension in the theatre on the night of Viola Desmond’s arrest. The drawing was published in The Chronicle Herald, here is a link to the article.