Harriet Tubman Wins $20 Bill Poll
That title sounds off, but whatever. It’s accurate.
My cousin, slave freedom Black Moses extraordinaire, Harriet Tubman, won a poll for women who should replace Andrew Jackson on the U.S. $20 bill. What this means now is that the poll results by the [organization] will be shared with the White House who can direct the Secretary of the Treasury to consider the decision and move to replace Andrew Jackson with America’s first woman on currency. It’s totally Jack Lew’s call.
This is significant for a number of reasons:
1) SHE’S MY COUSIN.
2) I might could get some free cases of freshly printed $20s for reparations!
3) Andrew Jackson was a vocal pro-slavery supporter who gave no country to abolitionists. He owned many slaves himself and was a successful planter.
4) Harriet Tubman was a slave.
5) Harriet Tubman was a woman.
6) Harriet Tubman was a smart slave who was a good strategist and coordinator and freed many slaves in a valiant and risky effort that could have cost her and them their lives.
7) Harriet Tubman was a woman slave during a time when most were kept for breeding more slaves, had their families torn away from them, and kept around for cooking, nursing, and somehow made it through to have historical significance. America was built on the backs, blood, and bones of slaves (and Native Americans). That house President Obama lives in? Slaves built that.
8) To have a slave who was a woman who overcame her lot in life to do greater good for those around her and help to uplift a nation replace a racist who occupied the White House and led the country for a while in the 1800s on the $20 Bill is the best kind of revenge. No revolt. No uprising. Just a bunch of Americans of all shades voting for Harriet Tubman to take a prominent place in history as the first woman on U.S. currency. Realize, recognize, and understand that she was sold for money and rescued people who were sold for money, and now can appear on that commonly used money as a giant middle finger to those who want to forget that slavery happened and that slaves weren’t deserving of respect, and that slavery, while something to be ashamed of as an institution, cannot be allowed to mis-remember slaves as a monolithic group of unfeeling animals. Slaves were people who had blood in their veins and pouring out of their whipped backs, air in their lungs, and lived full lives, even in undeserved captivity.
9) She’s as much a part of American history (as ugly as it may be) as Andrew Jackson, who directly contributed to the Trail of Tears that killed thousands of Native Americans. Who’d you rather have representing you on your money?
10) Women are strong. Who better to represent physical and mental strength and the sheer force of will to overcome and pull up others on your journey (as women often do) than Harriet Tubman? From slavery to freedom on a midnight train to Canada. (I’m side-eyeing my ancestors now thinking about that. How am I related to Harriet Tubman but not Canadian? OMG, DID WE CHOOSE TO STAY BEHIND?! Silly, fear-filled ancestors!)
For some reason, Raven-Symone (and others) feels so ashamed of slavery and slaves and feels that someone else should have been used – Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, or Wilma Mankiller. (How awesome is her surname, tho?!) These were all great women and Raven likes Rosa because she speaks to the movement today to squash white supremacy and police brutality. I find Rosa a good choice but problematic as she was part of a coordinated effort and wasn’t the only one who refused to give up her seat at the time. Eleanor Roosevelt was privileged and had a brain she used exceedingly well to better Americans. Wilma Mankiller probably wasn’t used because we already have Sacajawea on the dollar coin as a Native American woman (which is almost the size of a quarter, which is why it wasn’t readily adopted. Like…make a larger coin. That is totally unfair to Native American women).
It’s past time for women to be recognized officially as Americans as many are indeed important parts of American history. As for Harriet Tubman, slavery happened. Raven and others, stop trying to shy away from that reality and celebrate the strength and honor that came out of it with a story like Harriet’s. Also, she’s family. I’ll cut you long and I’ll cut you deep messing with my family.
Do you like Harriet being on the $20 bill and hope they put her on it? Let me know in the comments. I’d like a better picture. That main one looks awful. Thanks for reading!