The Atlantic Book Awards were recently in Halifax and Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Race and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land by Graham Reynolds with Wanda Robson received the Robbie Robertson Book Award for Nonfiction.
Graham Reynolds, Professor Emeritus and the Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice at Cape Breton University authored the book, and says, ” I am honored and delighted to receive this ward. The book is a timely publication and it coincides with the Government of Canada’s announcement that Viola Desmond was picked to be represented on a newly designed $10 Canadian banknote. It is clear that the Viola Desmond story has resonated throughout Canada and has become an important part of the narrative of Canadian history.”
The book was written in collaboration with Wanda Robson, Viola Desmond’s youngest sister, a graduate of CBU and an honorary degree recipient.
“Viola Desmond’s Canada” has also been recently adopted by the Nova Scotia Department of Education for use in African Canadian Studies and Canadian History grade 11 courses.
Graham says, “I think the book opens an important and long overdue discussion about race relations in Canada. Racism is very real and all Canadians need to understand that the problem still exists and has existed for a very long time. July marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of our nation and this is a very appropriate occasion for us to reflect on all aspects of our nation’s history. If we can have an open and honest dialogue about racism, I think we can build a more just society for the next 150 years, and beyond.”