Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Postponed and Facing Potential Redesign, Says Trump-Appointed Treasury Secretary

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Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Postponed and Facing Potential Redesign, Says Trump-Appointed Treasury Secretary

Iconic activist, abolitionist and women’s suffragist Harriet Tubman will not appear on the redesigned $20 bill next year as previously planned, according to Trump-appointed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew first announced the bill idea in 2016. It was originally planned to be unveiled in 2020 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women earning the right to vote.

Lew and the department gathered input from the public for 10 months prior to the announcement. They found overwhelming support from citizens to depict Tubman on the front side of the $20 bill, replacing Andrew Jackson, a known slave owner and advocate for Native American removal policies.

When answering questions from Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., during a hearing on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee, Mnuchin said the redesigned bill would be postponed to 2028 for release, and did not indicate whether he supported Tubman being featured on it. Watch in the video in the tweet below:

“The primary reason we have looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues,” Mnuchin told Pressley. “Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand.”

Tweets seen on Wednesday from politicians and citizens alike conveyed outrage and disappointment, as many had anticipated the new bill design to be unveiled within the next year.

Pressley tweeted to stress the importance of representation in American currency and mentioned two other possible icons to feature upon it, including Tubman’s fellow historical figure of color, Marian Anderson, as well as Eleanor Roosevelt.

Former senior advisor to Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett tweeted that not pursuing the design is upsetting to not only the African-American community, but also to everyone who has been inspired by Tubman’s life’s work.

Other Twitter users, including actress Piper Perabo, have posted their own tributes to Tubman through specially made stamps. These were developed by Jazzi McGilbert, the founder of Reparations Club, a gift shop and community space featuring designs from creators of color.

Other social media users were moved by an image of a young girl touching a Tubman mural in Dorchester County, Md. This tweet from journalist Yashar Ali garnered thousands of likes, retweets and shares:

While plans to feature Tubman would have coincided with the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement’s victory, those on social media continue to celebrate her and the movement’s achievements as we move closer to 2020.

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