Viola Davis Desmond (1914 –1965) was an Black Nova Scotian who was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. The gov't of Nova Scotia also apologized for convicting her for tax evasion, when, in fact, she was resisting a "whites only" discrimination policy in a movie theatre in 1946. Desmond's story was one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history. Desmond acted 9 yrs before the famed incident by civil-rights activist Rosa Parks.
100 years before Rosa Parks there was Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911). She was an author, poet and abolitionist. Born free in Baltimore, she had a prolific career, publishing her first book of poetry at age 20 and her first novel (Iola Leroy) at age 67. In 1850, she became the first woman to teach sewing at the Union Seminary. In 1851, she helped blacks along the Underground Railroad en route to Canada, running from the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
This group of fugitive slaves escaped to freedom in Canada on the Underground Railroad and took up residence in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The image was collected by Ohio State University professor Wilbur H. Siebert (1866-1961)