On Wednesday, the treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced a new face to the American currency. While it may not seem like a big deal, this is the first change to currency in over a hundred years.
All of your hands have touched many $20 bills and have glanced quickly at the white-haired man at the center of the bill looking onto the distance. But did you know that Andrew Jackson, said white-haired man, was a slaveholder? Did you know that he was also a big contributor to the Trail of Tears, bringing hundreds of Native Americans to their deaths? And, ironically enough, did you know that Andrew Jackson was actually opposed to paper money? If you ask me, Andrew Jackson has had his time in the spotlight and this change is well needed.
The new face of the $20 bill is Harriet Tubman, former slave and abolitionist. Some quick facts about her:
These are just some of the achievements that Harriet Tubman accomplished, clearly showing how influential she was during the 19th century. Not only is this change in the currency bringing awareness to other important individuals during critical time periods, it is a sign of progress and further develops this multicultural identity in this country.
And Harriet Tubman isn’t the only women being added to the national currency.
On the back of the $10 bill, there will be portraits of five women’s suffrage leaders, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Although Andrew Jackson’s face will still be on the $20 bill for the rest of this decade, it is still a great change to honor and acknowledge both important African Americans and women for their sacrifices. The next time you take a $20 bill out of the ATM, actually take the time to examine it and remind yourself of the historical figures of this nation. Welcome, Harriet Tubman!