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Viola   Desmond   was   a   cosmetics   pioneer   for   black   women   in   Atlantic   Canada   Following   in   the   footsteps   of   her   father   a   Halifax   barber   Ms   Desmond   started   out   in   business   at   a   time   when   few   beauty   schools   would   accept   black   students   After   training   in   Montreal   Atlantic   City   and   New   York   she   founded   her   own   institution   Halifax’s   Desmond   School   of   Beauty   Culture   selling   her   own   line   of   hair   and   skin   products   across   Nova   Scotia   But   on   one   business   trip   on   Nov   8   1946   when   her   car   broke   down   in   New   Glasgow   Ms   Desmond   would   become   famous   for   another   reason   The   fateful   movie   she   went   to   see   was   The   Dark   Mirror   a   psychological   thriller   starring   Olivia   de   Havilland   She   was   at   the   Roseland   Theatre   to   kill   time   while   a   garage   repaired   her   car   which   wouldn’t   be   ready   until   the   next   day   But   the   Roseland   was   a   segregated   theatre   the   floor   seats   were   for   whites   only   while   black   patrons   were   confined   to   the   balcony   Ms   Desmond   was   shortsighted   and   needed   a   better   view   and   tried   to   buy   a   floor   seat   but   was   refused   because   she   was   black   She   then   bought   a   balcony   seat   (which   was   one   cent   cheaper)   but   sat   in   the   floor   area     until   theatre   staff   called   the   police   and   had   her   dragged   out   She   spent   12   hours   in   jail   She   was   charged   and   convicted   of   tax   evasion     over   a   single   penny   She   did   not   have   a   lawyer   at   trial     she   was   never   informed   she   was   entitled   to   one   Arguing   that   Ms   Desmond   had   evaded   the   one-cent   difference   between   the   balcony   and   floor   ticket   prices   a   judge   fined   her   $26   Protests   from   Nova   Scotia’s   black   community   and   an   appeal   to   the   provincial   Supreme   Court   proved   fruitless   and   Ms   Desmond   died   in   1965   without   any   acknowledgment   of   racial   discrimination   in   her   case