Harriet Tubman Will Be on $20 Bills Sooner Than You Think

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President Joe Biden's administration is reportedly working on finally getting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill — sooner rather than later.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department told CNN on Monday that the agency is "exploring ways to resume" putting Tubman on the bill.

"'I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.' And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote."


Conversations about Tubman replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the front of the bill have been going on for years, after being pitched by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew in 2016. In a letter penned by Lew at the time, he said the decision for Tubman to be present on the bill was "driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old," and that the 19th Century abolitionist is "a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy."
As Lew wrote, "Tubman once said, 'I would fight for liberty so long as my strength lasted.' And she did fight, for the freedom of slaves and for the right of women to vote. Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embodies the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we will continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency. The reverse of the new $20 will continue to feature the White House as well as an image of President Andrew Jackson."
After then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, in 2016, lambasted the move to a Tubman $20 bill as “pure political correctness" and insisted that "Andrew Jackson had a history of tremendous success for the country," Trump administration Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did not move forward with the plan to change out the imagery. In 2019, however, Mnuchin said the redesigned $20 bill wouldn't come out until 2028.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “It is important that our .... money reflect the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that."
"We are exploring ways to speed up that effort," she also noted, per the Associated Press, which added that Psaki did not yet announce what the new timeline for the bill would be.

This post is part of a month-long January CircleAround series in which we asked writers to explore the topic "What Comes Next?" Now that we’ve (thankfully) turned the corner on 2020, what can we expect from 2021? Business-wise and family-wise, mentally and spiritually. To see all the posts in the series, visit here. And if you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to info@circlaround.com or post on our "2021 Vibes Wall."

Tags: BIPOC

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Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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