In 2019, the United States Treasury Department issued an effort to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. However, this motion was delayed by former President Donald Trump’s administration. On January 28, President Joseph R. Biden issued an order to continue the process, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed.
The push to replace Andrew Jackson comes after a large stain on his legacy. Jackson was most known for his part in the Indian Removal Act, a law that relocated Native Americans from the South and Southwest and ultimately led to millions of fatalities. Many believe that his course of action leaves a terrible representation of the U.S. and do not want his face to represent their currency.
“It’s important that our notes, our money… reflect the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” Psaki said.
Tubman is known as a woman with great historical depth, someone who was a true patriot that deserves the honor of being placed on the $20 bill because she reflects what this country should strive towards.
“I believe that she should be put on the bill as a way to honor her and all of the amazing work that she did.”Junior Ashley Ferrelli
“Harriet Tubman is a very well-respected woman who had a lot of courage,” junior Ashley Ferrelli said. “I believe that she should be put on the bill as a way to honor her and all of the amazing work that she did.”
Many others, however, disagree and believe that the notion to move forward with putting Tubman on the $20 bill in replacement of Jackson is not conclusive to the rest of the people that are on U.S. dollar bills and coins.
“President Jackson was obviously not a great person or president, however, I don’t think putting Harriet Tubman on the bill is right either because she doesn’t really fit in the category of most people that are on the bills,” sophomore Megan Biegner said. “This is simply because she has almost nothing to do with politics or government.”
With recent movements and cultural shifts in the United States, it is especially significant to highlight racial injustices from both the past and future, as well as the figures that have helped dismantle such issues. Tubman is one such figure, and recognizing how a brave woman was able to construct the Underground Railroad and free dozens of fellow slaves would be favorable. After all, Black history is our history, too.
“[With] the U.S. dollar being the world’s most recognizable currency, I think there should be some cosmetic changes to honor all that Harriet Tubman has done for civil rights in America.”Senior Matheus Lima
“[With] the U.S. dollar being the world’s most recognizable currency, I think there should be some cosmetic changes to honor all that Harriet Tubman has done for civil rights in America,” senior Matheus Lima said.
As one can deduce, the forward movement to replace Jackson with Tubman on the $20 bill has created opinions from all over the spectrum, ranging from it being politically appropriate to out of bounds.
With all of this being said, though, it seems that putting Tubman on the $20 bill is inappropriate. While she is a Black history icon who stood against U.S. laws against slavery, her being the face of the economy of a country that has only oppressed her is far off base and a poor attempt at reparations.
Photo courtesy of F Delventhal, flickr.com