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Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill

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Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill

Jennie Chen

An image of a man, or more specifically, a Caucasian man, is what is found on most American currency. This has been the pattern for many coins and bills minted in the past, but the addition of Harriet Tubman, known for her heroics “conducting” the Underground Railroad, on the face of the twenty-dollar bill will be the first time that an African American woman is shown on common currency. The bill used to have Andrew Jackson’s profile on the front; however, the former slaveowner and abolitionist will be moved to the back of the bill. According to the New York Times, the final designs will be shown to the public in 2020, but “will not go into wide circulation until later in the decade.”

Senior Aaron Chen

El Estoque: What are your thoughts on Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?
Aaron Chen: It’s good having Harriet Tubman because she’s more of an American hero as opposed to Andrew Jackson. Harriet Tubman was known for being a champion of the Underground Railroad and helping slaves escape to freedom and she didn’t really ever have a dark side, whereas Andrew Jackson is also known for the Trail of Tears among other things.

EE: Do you know the reason why Harriet replaced him on the face of the bill? What do you think the reason could be?
AC: I don’t know the actual reason, but I think it was because a lot of people complained about Andrew Jackson’s dark side, like the Trail of Tears. I don’t remember anything else that was bad, but I know a lot of people disliked him and thought he wasn’t a very good president.

EE: If you could pick any famous person to put on a bill, who would you pick and why?
AC: I would pick Nicolas Cage because he is now internet famous and he would really appeal to the current generation. I think it would really be cool to have someone who is well known now on money. I’d put him on the 2 dollar bill because it’s kind of a novelty as it is now.

nicolas cage bill

Junior Tanvee Sinha

EE: What are your thoughts on Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?
Tanvee Sinha: I think it’s really interesting that [Tubman] is replacing [Jackson] on the $20 bill because I definitely recognize her as an important and influential character in our nation’s past. But I just believe it was a very sudden impulse so I am just a little shocked, but I’m happy that something like this is happening.

EE: Do you know the reason why Harriet replaced him on the face of the bill? What do you think the reason could be?
TS: I honestly do not know the reason that they replaced Andrew Jackson, but from prior knowledge, I know that there are no women on any bills, and I think there’s a lot of movement going on with women’s rights, and I think we’ve progressed so much. But with money- something we use every single day, the fact that women are recognized is something that they saw and wanted to change.

EE: If you could pick any famous person to put on a bill, who would you pick and why?
TS: I would choose Martin Luther King because I feel it’s very important to have a holiday for him and I’m glad that we recognize him but if we are moving forward for women’s rights I think we should move forward for racial rights. And I think that a lot of things have progressed with rights for African Americans but I do believe that putting someone on a bill would just solidify the equality that has been created in America in dichotomy to what it used to be in the ‘60s.

mlk bill

Sophomore Mayumi Tabungar

EE: What are your thoughts on Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?
Mayumi Tabungar: I think it’s great because it’s always been white, powerful men on money so I guess it’s a huge empowerment thing for women in the U.S. now.

EE: Do you know the reason why Harriet replaced him on the face of the bill? What do you think the reason could be?
MT: Maybe because they were tired of Andrew Jackson.

EE: If you could pick any famous person to put on a bill, who would you pick and why?
MT: I like Barack Obama, but I don’t know what bill. Maybe on the dollar bill because he’s the chillest president ever.

obama bill

Co-authored by Issra Osman

About the Writer
Jennie Chen, Staff Writer

Jennie Chen is a senior and third-year staff writer on El Estoque, and has previously served as the beats editor and the PR editor. In her free time, she...