Tubman Takes Over the $20

Okay, I know that you all have heard about this all over social media, the news, and through word-of-mouth. The Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman’s image will appear on a new series of $20 bills. This will make Harriet Tubman the first African-American to appear on U.S. paper currency AND the first woman in over a century.

This idea was launched by President Obama after receiving a letter from a Massachusetts girl saying women should appear on currency.

Over the next four years, the $5, $10, and $20 bills will be redesigned with new security features that will make the bills harder to counterfeit and have tactile features, making them easier for blind citizens to distinguish.

Although no date has been set for when these changes will take place, some of them will include:

  • The image of Lincoln Memorial (on the back of the $5) will be redesigned to depict historic events that happened there, such as: Marian Anderson’s 1939 concert and the 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • The story of the women’s suffrage movement will be told on the back of the $10 bill, honoring women such as Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul.
  • Andrew Jackson will be incorporated into the image of the White House on the $20 bill and Harriet Tubman will be placed on the front.

Previously, the Treasury Department was going to have a woman replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. This is no longer the case due, in large part, by the popularity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical that is based on Hamilton’s life.

Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, recently read Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton, and it helped him in his search for the most worthy woman. He claims that he found a different side of Harriet than what he learned about in school.

I am extremely excited that the government opened up to the public and asked for their opinion, because originally they were going to go with Susan B. Anthony alone. While I am excited for this welcome change, I wonder how it will change the dynamic. I feel that as we continue to progress in our agenda of equality, and keeping gaining these “wins,” I worry that it will make the majority feel as though things are now equaling themselves out. I worry that people are going to assume now that we have an African-American on our currency that we shouldn’t have anything else to complain about.

So give me the tea, what’s your opinion?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s