The Story of Viola Desmond
Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki is a fantastic share for February given that it is Back History Month. This book shares the story of Canada's most prominent civil rights leaders, Viola Desmond. In Nova Scotia in 1946, Viola Desmond's car broke down. While waiting for the mechanic to fix it she decides to see a movie. When she is asked to leave the main floor to go to the balcony she refuses, she won't budge. As a result she is taken to jail, all supposedly for a one cent tax she was willing to pay but they wouldn't allow. It made her mad her story inspired a whole community.
It is so incredible to have books such as these accessible and available to our children. This story is written in a way that even your four year olds will be able to access and understand. I love how Jody Nyasha Warner has used a storytelling tone to her writing, with interjections and turns of phrase that make you feel like you are hearing a first hand account of the story by someone who was actually there and bore witness to the injustice in that movie theatre. The art in this story is stunning. Bold and expressive and captivating, Richard Rudnicki captures Nova Scotia in the 1940's and helps to tell the story of Viola Desmond.
I am so happy I can share these stories, stories I was never made aware of in all of my schooling and only heard as an adult, with my own children and the children I teach. It is incredibly important our children are aware of our history as a country, the triumphs but more importantly the failures so they can be and do better than those before.