Harriett Tubman may soon become new face of $20 dollar bill

   The initiative begun by the Obama administration in 2016 will be picked back up and continued by the Biden administration to change the face of the 20 dollar bill from Andrew Jackson to Harriet Tubman. After being blocked for four years by the Trump administration claiming the focus should be on adding more security measures to the US currency, it is expected that the process will be accelerated and Harriett Tubman will soon appear on the US 20 dollar bill.

   White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke on behalf of the administration regarding the change in the 20 dollar note. 

   “It’s important that our money reflects the history and diversity of our country.”

   The debate surrounding the change in the note has sparked different ideas among individuals across all areas of the political spectrum. While it is no secret that Andrew Jackson was particularly racist and brutal to Native Americans, as well as a questionable policymaker regarding the federal bank, many argue that replacing Jackson with Tubman is disrespectful. 

   “Putting Tubman on legal tender, when slaves in the U.S. were treated as fungible commodities is a supreme form of disrespect. The imagery of her face changing hands as people exchange cash for goods and services evokes for me discomfiting scenes of enslaved persons being handed over as payment for white debt or for anything white slaveholders wanted,” explained Brittany Cooper, professor at Rutgers University, in her TIME Magazine op-ed.  

   On the other hand, some view this change as a welcome gesture to improve equality and representation in the United States. Harriet Tubman is a prominent figure in American history, known for her heroic work helping slaves escape through the underground railroad while evading danger and peril in her own freedom.

   In a poll conducted among students ranging in ages 15-21, 76 percent voted yes to changing the 20 dollar note to Harriet Tubman, while 24 percent voted no. Among those who voted no, a concern was raised in the representation of Tubman on the 20 dollar note. Others in favor simply wanted to see Jackson removed.

   “Jackson didn’t even like paper money and he pursued wrong-headed and disastrous economic policies,” argues Steven Mufson, a reporter for The Washington Post, “Yet the Tennessee frontiersman, land speculator, lawyer, slave-owner, war hero and seventh president – [has] continue[d] to gaze out from the $20 bill.”

   The Treasury Department, led by Biden’s nominee Janet Yellen, is planning to accelerate the timeline for the new 20 dollar bill from the original estimation of circulation by 2028.