The Viola Desmond Lecture


The Department of Africana Studies and the Consulate General of Canada presents:

Beyond the Culture II:

The Viola Desmond Lecture

Drake and the New Hip-Hop World

by Dalton Higgins



February 8, 2023

6:00 pm

Auburn Avenue Research Library


Viola Desmond:  Viola Desmond is the first Canadian woman to appear on a regularly circulating bank note.  In 1946, Desmond, a successful businesswoman, was jailed for refusing to leave a Whites-only area of a movie theatre.  Her court case Inspired the pursuit of racial equality across Canada.


Dalton Higgins:   Dalton Higgins is a publicist, author of six books, National Magazine Award-winning journalist, and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Music-Prof-in-Residence. Higgins teaches the popular university course “Deconstructing Drake and The Weeknd” that has been featured on CNN, New York Times, NPR, and BET among many other media outlets. His best-selling books include Far from Over: The Music and Life of Drake which is carried in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum collection in Cleveland, and Hip Hop World which has been carried in Harvard University’s hip hop archive since 2009. Higgins’ pioneering work in the area of global music research and event production has taken him to Denmark, France, Australia, Germany, Colombia, England, Curacao, Spain, Cuba and across Canada and the USA. As the owner of an independent boutique publicity company, Higgins’ roster includes clients that have won Grammy Awards, BET Awards, Emmy Awards, The Mercury Prize (UK), Victoires de la Musique/French Grammy’s (France) and Juno Awards (Canada). As a longtime journalist, Higgins recently co-produced the New York Festivals award-winning “This Is Not A Drake podcast” series which explores the evolution of hip-hop and gender dynamics within the culture.