With Black History Month just around the corner, we are celebrating early with the news that Harriet Tubman will finally replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Tubman will be the first woman, the first person of color, and the first activist to take a place of honor on a bill.
Petitions to remove Andrew Jackson from the bill have gained popularity in recent years. His notoriety as a slave owner and proponent of ethnic cleansing have led many to suggest replacing his face with a more respectable historical figure.
In 2016, a new design proposed putting Harriet Tubman on the bill in 2019 for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. More than two years later, the change seems to be finally happening. A New York Times report states, “The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes. It’s important that our money reflect the history and diversity of our country.”
Those opposed to the change argue that Jackson’s actions were a reflection of the time in which he served. Replacing him on the bill does not discount his presidency or erase his history, but rather refuses to glorify it. The new design upholds and honors a figure who fought against systems of oppression and sought justice.
At The Optimist Daily, we are certainly looking forward to seeing these bills in circulation in the near future.
Image source: History.com