Viola Desmond: The Canadian Businesswoman and Her Influence

Viola Desmond, born and raised in Halifax, was a successful business woman and entrepreneur in the beauty salon industry. The former school teacher had always wanted to open her own hairdressing business, however many beauty schools denied admission to Black women. She then travelled from city to city for courses until she finally obtained her diploma in hairdressing in Atlantic City. In 1937, Desmond began Vi’s Studio of Beauty Culture, where she provided hair and cosmetic services to racially-mixed clientele in Halifax. After much success in a few years, she…

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