Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged by Jody Nyasha WarnerViola Desmond Won't Be Budged by Jody Nyasha Warner

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

byJody Nyasha WarnerIllustratorRichard Rudnicki

Hardcover | September 1, 2010

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Finalist for the 2011 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

"On behalf of the Nova Scotia government, I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Viola Desmond's family and to all African Nova Scotians for the racial discrimination she was subjected to by the justice system . . . We recognize today that the act for which Viola Desmond was arrested, was an act of courage, not an offence." -- Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, April 15, 2010

In Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie theatre told Viola Desmond to move from her main floor seat up to the balcony. She refused to budge. Viola knew she was being asked to move because she was black. After all, she was the only black person downstairs. All the other black people were up in the balcony. In no time at all, the police arrived and took Viola to jail. The next day she was charged and fined, but she vowed to continue her struggle against such unfair rules. She refused to accept that being black meant she couldn't sit where she wanted.

Viola's determination gave strength and inspiration to her community at the time. She is an unsung hero of the North American struggle against injustice and racial discrimination whose story deserves to be widely known.

The African Canadian community in Nova Scotia is one of Canada's oldest and most established black communities. Despite their history and contributions to the province the people in this community have a long experience of racially based injustice.

Like Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, who many years later, in 1955, refused to give up their bus seats in Alabama, Desmond's act of refusal awakened people to the unacceptable nature of racism and began and process of bringing an end to racial segregation in Canada.

An afterword provides a glimpse of African Canadian history.

Jody Nyasha Warner is a writer, human rights advisor and former librarian. She was inspired to write this book because so much African Canadian history is either not well known or not documented.Richard Rudnicki is an artist known for his paintings of Nova Scotia as well as for his award-winning children's books. His picture books incl...
Title:Viola Desmond Won't Be BudgedFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:32 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.42 inShipping dimensions:10 × 8 × 0.42 inPublished:September 1, 2010Publisher:Groundwood Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0888997795

ISBN - 13:9780888997791

Appropriate for ages: 5


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful story! I read this book to my Grade 2 class and they were very moved by it. It's an excellent book about an influential black Canadian. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Read Aloud for Black History Month I found this book while looking for Black History resources at a child's level of understanding. The text was just right for explaining the unfairness of segregation to my kindergartens at a level that they would understand.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strong Canadian Woman Almost 20 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, Viola Desmond refused to move seats in a movie theatre in Nova Scotia. This successful business owner was dragged off to jail and convicted of fraud for not paying the 1 cent extra fee to sit on the white only floor section of the theatre. Eventually, after her sister brought Viola's experience to light, Ms. Desmond was pardoned in 2010. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights even has a display dedicated to her.
Date published: 2017-02-14

Editorial Reviews

"...the author of the children's book 'Viola Desmond Won't be Budged!' knows why she wanted to write the Halifax businesswoman's story... "There's not much that's there that's Canadian and this is such a great story."" - Monica Graham, The Chronicle-Herald"...vibrant..." - Canadian Teacher Magazine"Plain speech in the vernacular of the time and predominantly red-hued acrylic paintings that seem imbued with their subject's passion combine to great effect in this important but not-well-known piece of Canadian history." - Susan Perren, Globe and Mail"Varying perspectives heighten the emotional intensity, as do the excellent layout and design. This unique offering will be of particular value when studying women's or black history." - Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, School Library Journal"...warm and engaging..." - Rosalie MacEachern, New Glasgow News"Desmond's story should prove eye-opening to readers whose civil rights references are limited to American figures." - Publishers Weekly"This book is a powerful discussion starter on racism." - Linda Ludke,"Rudnicki's vivid, dramatic art intensifies the danger that Desmond's stubborn determination brought her, and it lends itself well to the warm recounting of the unnamed narrator." - Courtney Jones, Booklist"From the first page, Viola Desmond Won't be Budged! hooks the engaging delight to read." - Crystal Sutherland, CM Magazine"Using a cadenced style that echoes the oral tradition of African-Canadians, Warner recounts the story..." - Kirkus Reviews"This carefully-researched book provides young learners with an informative look at racial segregation in Canada and a pivotal event in the civil rights movement." - Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children"...impressive..." - Evelyn C. White, Vancouver Sun"...a compelling story..." - Marya Jansen-Gruber, Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews