The hidden date for this stamp can be found along the left edge of the stamp.
East coast journalist and activist Carrie Best was featured on one of Canada Post’s Black History month 2011 stamps. Best had worked with Viola Desmond to lobby the provincial government to repeal its segregation laws, which it did in 1954.
Desmond was arrested in Nova Scotia in 1945, for sitting in the “whites-only” section of New Glasgow’s Roseland theatre. After being dragged from the theatre, sitting up all night in jail still wearing her white gloves, Desmond was tried without counsel and convicted of defrauding the province of the additional one-cent tax for seats in the whites-only section, and fined $20. She paid the fine but went on to fight the charge in higher levels of court. Subsequent trials focused on tax-evasion, not that Ms. Desmond has been a victim of racism.
All efforts to have the conviction overturned were unsuccessful, and her lawyer eventually returned her fee, which she used to fund the activities of the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSAACP).
Last year, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia invoked the Royal Prerogative and granted Desmond a posthumous pardon, the first such to be granted in Canada, and the government of Nova Scotia formally apologized.
“I used a collage of elements in the stamp to give dimension to the story of Ware,” says Lara Minja of Vancouver’s Lime Design, who has designed the three previous issues in the Black History series. “The strong and flattering portrait provides a central focus, and silhouettes of significant places appear at the bottom. This stamp is intended to have a historical look and feel, as well as a richness and human warmth.”