VIOLA DESMOND WON’T BE BUDGED launches in Toronto

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged, the new picture book written by Jody Nyasha Warner and illustrated by Richard Rudnicki, launched last night at 918 Bathurst in Toronto. Here are a few photos from the lively event:

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PHOTO CREDIT: Fred Horler

Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Viola DesmondIn 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.

Visit the Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged Facebook page!

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Gordon Lightfoot admires the art in CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY

Ian Wallace’s amazing original artwork from Canadian Railroad Trilogy is on display now through to October 6, 2010, at the CBC Toronto Atrium (250 Front Street West). Check out these incredible photos of Gordon Lightfoot visiting the exhibit yesterday for the first time:

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Please join us for the opening reception at the Atrium on September 30th at 5:00 pm, hosted by CBC Radio 2′s Bob Mackowycz and featuring a special performance by Jory Nash.

Photo credit: RYAN COULDREY

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The 2nd Annual Anansi/Groundwood Bowling Invitational

Look at us, in our matching sweatshirts. Aren’t we adorable?

For those of you who are interested, Allan, our VP Finance (bottom row, second from left), was the bowling champion of the year. He has mad skills.

Marie-Louise Gay, author of the Stella books, stops by for a visit

Marie-Louise Gay (centre) with Groundwood Books/House of Anansi staff

Marie-Louise Gay (centre) with Groundwood Books/House of Anansi staff

Celebrated children’s author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay stopped by our offices at the end of September while in Toronto as part of a cross-Canada tour promoting the 10th anniversary of her first Stella book. Her latest book, When Stella Was Very, Very Small, goes back in time to answer the questions often asked by the children who read and love her Stella books: Where does Stella get her wild ideas? How big is Stella’s imagination? What did Stella look like when she was small? How did Stella come to be the big sister to Sam that we all know and love?

Also newly available is the My Little Stella Library — four mini Stella books in an adorable boxed set.

P.S. This photo of us with Marie-Louise was chosen as PW Daily’s picture of the day! We’re a nice-looking bunch, aren’t we?

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