Tubman on $20 bill


NY Times

Proposed look of the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson.

Have you noticed that the historical figures presented on the United States currency, the dollar bill, are all white males?

The current figures on US dollar bills are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, and William McKinley. Most of whom supported slavery and were slave owners themselves.

In 2016, the Obama administration proposed that Harriet Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist, should replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Her life as an enslaved person who then gained freedom and her work towards achieving racial equality prove that Tubman is beyond worthy of this honor.

Our currency will now tell more of our story and reflect the contributions of women as well as men to our great democracy.”

— Jack Lew

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew from the Obama Administration explained, “our currency will now tell more of our story and reflect the contributions of women as well as men to our great democracy.”
One of the Biden Administration’s campaign points was that, if elected, they would resume the campaign to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. This initiative, originally set in motion by the Obama Administration, was halted by the Trump Administration.

Former President Trump disagreed with the idea of putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, but felt that it would be more appropriate to put her on the $2 bill. He said as the $2 bill circulates less than any other dollar bill. According to the US Department of the Treasury, as of April 2007, the $2 bill circulates about seven times less than the $20 bill.

Now, the Biden Administration is trying to accelerate the process saying that the circulation of this new $20 bill will begin in 2028.

Tubman will be the first black woman on a dollar bill and the first woman on US paper currency in over a century. The current figures on the bills are all white males.

According to CNBC news, “redesigning a bill is an intricate process that will take time and require more changes than a simple face swap.” A redesigned bill would probably make an appearance sometime around 2025.

The primary reason for the delay is that extreme caution needs to be taken to prevent counterfeiting.