Hey everyone! Some very exciting girl power news this week: Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill! She will be the first woman in over one hundred years to be on a bill! The only other time this happened was in the 1880’s, when Martha Washington’s face was printed on the one dollar bill. In addition to this, Tubman now also becomes the first African-American to be featured on U.S. currency, and it’s long overdo.
Tubman was an extraordinary woman and abolitionist, who worked behind enemy lines to usher slaves to safety during the American Civil War. It is entirely fitting, then, that such a brave, important woman should be represented on the face of U.S. currency.
Catherine Clinton, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, wrote a novel called Harriet Tubman: Road to Freedom. In a USA Today article, Clinton said that not many people, even very educated people, realize just how brave and intense Tubman’s actions were. In that same article (you can find it on my resources page!), Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the book played a big part in Tubman going to the $20 bill. So if you get a chance to read Clinton’s book, I definitely would!
Another victory for women on currency: The story of U.S. women’s suffrage will be told in a series of pictures on the back of the ten dollar bill. No word exactly when. It is part of a move to redesign all U.S. currency. And thanks to the popularity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit play Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s face will remain on the front of the ten dollar bill. Other U.S. currency modifications will be made in the future as well, such as creating designs on bills so they are more distinguishable to blind citizens.
I had never thought of currency illustrations as a means of equality, but Harriet Tubman’s pending feature on the face of the $20 bill is a step in the right direction!