The New Face of the $20 Bill

USA Today

USA Today

I felt quite elated at the news that the Treasury Department  had chosen Abolitionist Harriet Tubman to appear on a new series of $20 bills. She will be the first African-American to appear on U.S. paper currency and the first woman in more than a century.

Harriet Tubman led quite an amazing life. Born a slave and separated from her family at age 6, she not only was responsible for freeing hundreds of slaves, she was also a spy and a scout during the Civil War who worked behind enemy lines. In one expedition alone, she led a raid that freed more than 750 slaves. She accomplished all of this yet she was illiterate. Her story is certainly inspiring. As the mother of two little girls with brown skin who dream big, it is a positive sign that the world has a place for them. With so many disheartening reminders in the news lately that racism still exists in this country, I felt a sense of pride to see our country honor a woman of color in this way.

Andrew Jackson’s image will be moved to the back of the $20 bill. Jackson’s image has soured in many people’s eyes because he owned slaves and persecuted native Americans. What an interesting twist of events: choosing to show an African-American abolitionist on one side of the bill, and a slave owner on the other.

If you’d like to know more about Harriet Tubman, check out Catherine Clinton’s recently published book: Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom.

The inspiration for this big change, came from a 9 year-old girl.


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life, Heather is chauffeur to 3 busy kids; the president of her Home and School Association; and VP of Marketing for TipsFromTown. And she's passionate about all 3!