I don’t love carrying cash. But today I’m making an exception.
That’s because there’s a black woman on this money.
Her name is Viola Desmond. She was arrested after she refused to leave the “whites only” section of a Halifax theatre.
I never imagined I’d see a black woman on Canadian currency. But there she was staring at me after I bought a coffee in downtown Brampton.
I didn’t cry. But I did notice. It says something — but not everything — about a country that can acknowledge its mistakes. It doesn’t erase anything. But it’s a start. Especially if we want to write a better future.
I hope the next black person on our currency isn’t there because they stood up against prejudice. We’ve contributed to this culture.
- Lawrence Hill
- Lincoln Alexander
- No. 2 Construction Battalion
- Michael Lee Chin
- Rosemary Brown
- Carrie Best
And all the rest of us.
I don’t know how long that’s going to take. But I can wait.
Until then I’m not going to spend Viola.
And I’ll share Viola’s story with my daughter. Maybe she can find her way to our currency.