President Joe Biden has had a busy first week in office, reversing problematic Trump-era executive orders, but it seems that one item on his agenda stems from his friend and our forever President, Barack Obama‘s, mission to get Harriet Tubman as the new face of the twenty-dollar bill.
According to the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, Biden’s Treasury is looking to speed up the process to add abolitionist and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman to the $20 bill, adding that such accomplishment is a proper step in reflecting the country’s “history and diversity.”
“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes,” Psaki said in the press conference. . “It’s important that our notes reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that. So we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort.”
The decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Ms. Tubman was spearheaded in 2016 by the then-Treasury secretary, Jacob Lew, with the redesign set to unveil in 2020 on the centennial of the 19th Amendment, a milestone for women’s right to vote; however, due to Trump’s opposition, the currency redesign was removed as a priority.
In an exclusive to the New York Times, the preliminary redesign has been unveiled revealing a bill featuring Tubman’s portrait on the front with a statue of Jackson on the back. According to the publication, no further information regarding the release of the new $20 USD bill is currently available but it adds that the redesign is expected to take a considerable amount of time due to its high circulation amongst consumers.
Derrick Johnson, chief executive, and president of the NAACP said in a statement: “Harriet Tubman lived at a time when Congress, the Supreme Court, and our nation was abhorrently paralyzed over whether it was legal to allow one person to own another. In a true act of liberty and independence, Tubman freed herself from slavery, only to return south 19 more times, risking her own life and freedom, to save her family and hundreds of others from a life spent in slavery. “he legacy of Harriet Tubman and other Black Americans who built the nation we know today must be recognized and celebrated in our schools, culture, and currency. The NAACP applauds the Biden administration’s announcement to change the design of the $20 bill to commemorate the full story of the significant figures in our history.”