In My DNA: First Black Woman to Grace Canadian Money

new-10-bill-unveiled-featuring-civil-rights-icon-viola-desmond-0

I got, I got, I got, I got/ Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA/ Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA/ I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA/ I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA

Sorry y’all, I can’t stop singing this Kendrick Lamar joint ever since I heard my cousin is the first Black woman to grace Canada’s $10 banknote.

Naturally, Viola Desmond is our WCW. For not only refusing to leave a white’s only section of a movie theater in the late ‘40s, but more importantly her defiance was the jump off to the civil rights movement, which led to the end of segregation in Nova Scotia.

For not only refusing to leave a white’s only section of a movie theater in the late ‘40s, but more importantly her defiance was the jump off to the civil rights movement, which led to the end of segregation in Nova Scotia.

No wonder out of more than 26,000 submissions, cousin Vi was selected as the Canadian woman reppin the new banknote.

Fair warning this post will be bias as a mofo, but I’m hoping you guys will indulge me in this proud moment.

Viola Desmond did for Canada what Rosa Parks did for us. Only she did it a decade before Rosa. My cuz Vi stumbled upon her role as a civil rights pioneer. Much like Rosa, she was sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

So this is how she landed in textbooks:

In 1946, Vi’s car broke down while traveling and had to stop in New Glasgow to get it fixed. To kill time, she went to the movies.

It was obvi segregated because it’s 1946—whites took the floor seats and Blacks were forced in the balcony section.

There was no way cousin Vi was getting a floor seat, so she paid for the balcony. Yet still sat in the white’s only section. My cousin.

She refused to leave and had to be dragged out of the theater by police. She spent 12 hours in the clink.

Cousin Vi was convicted and ordered to pay what amounted to $26 in fines. She fought the charges up until her death in 1965.

It wasn’t until 2010 the charges were dismissed by Nova Scotia’s first African Lieutenant general. “Here I am, 64 years later – a black woman giving freedom to another black woman,” Mayann Francis told Maclean’s magazine.

Yup that’s called black girl magic. Now get out and spend those Desmond’s.

 

Man Candy Monday | ‘Empire’s’ Bryshere Gray at ADL’s Walk Against Hate Fundraiseder

bryshere-y-gray-a_5256386

The littlest Lyon left Cookie and Lucious home to command the stage in his hometown of Philly Sunday for Cookie’s Cookout  third annual Anti-Defamation League fundraiser–Walk Against Hate.

Bryshere Gray’s (aka Hakeem Lyon on FOX’s Empire) performance of old and new jams capped off a family-friendly day for the city of brotherly love.

 

The $25 registration fee for Walk Against Hate bought more than Bryshere turnin’ up onstage. In addition to the 2 mile walk around the Philly Navy Yard, there was a Diversity Expo with 50 non-profits including LGBTQ espousing tolerance and acceptance. Also face painting and magic show for the kiddies.

But nothing beats hearing “Drip Drop” live.

 

ADL’s Walk Against Hate, aiming to “protect the civil rights of all” raised $381,395 for their mission, research and programs like No Place for Hate, the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute and Bearing Witness program.. There is still time to donate here.