Harriet Tubman, (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and a Union spy during the American Civil War.
Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
During the post-war era Harriet Tubman was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.
According to Politico, “Harriet Tubman will bump Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill while Alexander Hamilton will stay put on the $10 — a historic move that gives a woman prime placement on U.S. currency”.
Ben Carson, Former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon, expressed his love for Tubman and her accomplishments but implied that Harriet Tubman should be placed on the $2 bill as it ‘would be a more appropriate honor’.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander also said Jackson shouldn’t be replaced with Harriet Tubman, arguing that ”history shouldn’t pit the former president against the anti-slavery activist’.
Sen. Lamar said: “United States history is not Andrew Jackson versus Harriet Tubman. It is Andrew Jackson and Harriet Tubman, both heroes of a nation’s work in progress toward great goals. It is unnecessary to diminish Jackson in order to honor Tubman”.
The decision stands, Harriet Tubman will be the first black woman on a national currency.
Hillary Clinton supports the decision to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
A woman, a leader, and a freedom fighter. I can't think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman: https://t.co/YcsZC4ZrKg -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 20, 2016
During a conference call, Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told reporters:
“Today, I’m excited to announce that for the first time in more than a century, the front of our currency will feature the portrait of a woman, Harriet Tubman, on the $20 note.
Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embody the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we’ll continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency.
There are a number of options of how we can resolve this. We’re not taking Alexander Hamilton off our currency.
The two things most important are the security of our money and getting this process to move as quickly as possible.
Due to security needs, the redesigned $10 note is scheduled to go into circulation next. I’ve directed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to work closely with the Federal Reserve to accelerate work on the new $20 and $5 notes.
Our goal is to have all three new notes go into circulation as quickly as possible, while ensuring that we protect against counterfeiting through effective and sophisticated production”.
Advocate for “Put a Woman on the Twenty Act in Congress” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), introduced a similar bill in the Senate) last year. He also commended the decision.
Gutiérrez said in a statement:
“There has been a lot of talk about putting a woman’s portrait on our money, but finally it sounds like Secretary Lew is putting our money where his mouth is. It is crazy that women have been mostly absent from our money up until now, with only a few exceptions”.
Has a black woman earned her right to be on America’s currency? I say yes. What say you?