Harriet Tubman Takes the Twenty, Jackson Heads to the Back of the Bill

In an age where homosexuals can marry and pot smokers can legally get high (stat- dependent), the time for women to appear on the dollar bill has finally arrived.


Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced today a plan to place famed abolitionist and all-round slave-freeing badass Harriet Tubman prime and center on the $20 bill. Tubman will be joined by fellow female leaders of the women’s suffrage movement on the back of the $10 bill.

Previously, Lew had planned to have Tubman appear on the front of the $10 bill in place of Alexander Hamilton. A number of factors however have since convinced the secretary otherwise.

(And by “factors,” this decision mostly reflects the recent popularity surge in all things Hamilton-related, inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/director Lin Manuel-Miranda’s eponymous hip-hopera.)

If any further proof was needed that society is making its ever slow-moving march toward progress, Tubman will instead now replace her slaveholding counterpart, Andrew Jackson. Not wanting to make too giant a leap forwards, however, Jackson—who yes, was president but also notably drove Native Americans off their land—will remain on the backside of the bill.

“[Hamilton] is fully appropriate to be on American currency,” said Kari Winter, director of the gender institute at the University at Buffalo, sharing her views on the currency change in an interview with Politico. “Whereas Jackson was a scoundrel, a slaveholder and a white supremacist who was involved in the removal of Indians and was completely opposed to paper money and was horrible to women.”

Tubman fans can expect to see the heroine grace their wallets by 2020. As Politico further reported, the Treasury will likely “ask the Federal Reserve, which makes the final decision, to speed up the process and get the bills into circulation as quickly as possible.”

In anticipation of such an exciting prospect, some people have already begun incorporating the future currency into their lexicon.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.