When we open up our wallets, we find our common paper or coin currency that we use everyday. It turns out, our wallets are a history lesson sitting right in front of us. Each dollar has a face: the $1 bill features George Washington, the $5 bill holds the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the $10 bill is paired with Alexander Hamilton, and the $20 bill currently holds the face of Andrew Jackson. Yet, a new face has a shot at the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman is the forefront choice–rightfully so.
During Obama’s time as president, his administration clearly wished to get Harriet Tubman on a bill. As the first Black president, Obama carried an aura of change–one of hope. The Obama Administration aimed to build on this tribute to diversity, and recognized that more amazing American women deserved representation on our currency. Initially, Tubman was meant to go on the ten-dollar bill. But, an uprising of praise directed at Alexander Hamilton (the face on the $10 bill) destined Harriet Tubman for the twenty-dollar bill instead.
Currently, the American $20 bill has the face of the former slave owner, Andrew Jackson.
While Jackson was the United State’s 7th president, new generations shed light on his background. The former President drove Native Americans from their land in the southeast. To the public’s disgust, new revelations showed that Andrew and his family owned 300 slaves for their estate. His racism is showing, and it will not be honored.
In this article, we are choosing to honor Harriet Tubman. We will talk about her life and legendary achievements. But also, what it would mean for her to finally take her rightful place on the American $20 bill.
Harriet Tubman’s Early Life
Harriet Tubman was born as Araminta (Minty) Ross in Maryland to enslaved parents. Throughout her childhood, she received horrible treatment and unwarranted injuries from owners that were unjustly keeping her and her family. Like many slaves, Harriet endured complete physical, mental, and emotional pain. It is hard to hear this part of history, but it is so important to talk about.
Harriet Tubman’s father was supposed to be released when he turned 45 years old. But, when it was time for that to happen, the owner tore up the legal documents. He refused to let Harriet Tubman’s family free. She attempted to escape with her brothers the first time, but in fear for their lives, they chose to go back. So the next time, she did it on her own.
Harriet Tubman’s Legacy
Harriet Tubman traveled 90 miles north all the way to Pennsylvania. From there, she kept going back and helped more than 70 slaves escape along the underground railroad. At first, Tubman directed slaves to the northern US. But, in 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act made it dangerous for runaway slaves to live in the free states. If a runaway slave was caught, they were at risk of being enslaved again.
Nonetheless, Harriet persevered. Tubman started helping slaves cross into Southern Ontario. Canada– which as it was still closely linked with Britain–had already entirely abolished slavery. Harriet would not let anyone go back once they came along the underground railroad with her. She lived by the concept of liberty or death.
Every time she went back, she had to be extremely careful not to get caught. There were very high bounties for her capture.
Her bravery and persistence are nothing short of inspiring.
In her old age, she retired to a home for old Black folks, which she had set up previously. In 2019, the biographical movie “Harriet” came out, which covers the beginnings of Harriet’s life and details her amazing accomplishments.
Let’s Get Harriet on the $20 Bill
Harriet Tubman is one of the most amazing women in history. Her time on earth- especially as a woman of color- is marked with amazing things that many people would not have dared to do.
Having Tubman on American currency would help mark this country’s progress, rather than depicting the regressive 7th US president, Andrew Jackson. Harriet stood up for what was right, and she was so dedicated to her cause that she was not afraid of losing her own life. She wanted to free wrongfully enslaved human beings and lead them to a place where they could lead a better life.
Many people nicknamed her “Moses”, after the biblical figure that helped Jewish slaves escape Egypt. She truly was a gift to this world for making changes in the lives of slaves, for exposing the depravity of slavery, and for helping bring the evil estate that once controlled her down to ruin. Tubman is not only an inspiration for women of color, but for all individuals who seek change. Harriet Tubman taught us to do what is right, to fight for what you believe in, and to never, ever give up.
Hope For The Future
Thankfully, we see progress happening in the US again (like how Kamala Harris Just Broke an American Glass Ceiling) after a four-year regression. Thus, now is a great time to finally go through with that Harriet Tubman $20 bill, as it was planned to be in circulation by 2020.
Kamala Harris is not only the first Black Vice President, but she is also the first woman to ever hold the spot. Now more than ever, we need to honor the strength and future of black women in this country.
Placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill will honor the strong black women of the country’s past, present, and future. Their voices, stories, and potential have been overshadowed for far too long.
At Liz Fe Lifestyle, it is one of our top priorities to honor the amazing women who have paved change for all of us. Without woman like Harriet Tubman, we would not have the chance to be all we can be today. We hope that these powerful figures both remind you of your worth and inspire you to be the change you want to see in the world. Who knows? Someone might be writing an article about you one day.
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