Biden Recommits to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20

Biden Recommits to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20

Isabella Hall, Writer

Abraham Lincoln is on the $5 bill, Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill, and Benjamin Franklin is on the $100 bill, but no women, or women of color are on any U.S paper currency. Not since Pocahontas graced a $20 in 1875 has a woman been on paper money. That is about to change. In January 2021 the Biden administration started working on putting Harriet Tubman on the bill after being pushed back for years. Back in 2015 the Obama administration proposed the idea of putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, but the Trump Administration postponed it in 2019 due to security issues. 

Currently, Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill. Andrew Jackson was a soldier and general in the United States army and later was elected for president. He served for two terms and was known as the people’s president. He founded the democratic party, destroyed the Second Bank of the United States, and supported the idea of individual liberty which resulted in the forced  migration of Native Americans. Some people disagree with his contribution to history, and think, as a slave owner, he shouldn’t even be on the 20. 

“Harriet Tubman and Andrew Jackson are almost on different sides of that part in history. Tubman was helping slaves escape as a slave herself, while Jackson owned numerous slaves,” said Emerson freshman Juliana Palladino. 

Harriet Tubman was a political activist and conductor of the Underground Railroad. The underground railroad was a safe network in the works to help enslaved people get to freedom. Harriet Tubman made about 13 missions to help a little more than 70 people to safety. She helped defeat slavery even more when helping the United States by aiding the Union during the Civil War. She also worked on very little pay as a nurse. 

On Monday January 25, 2021 Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary mentioned that they are resuming efforts in putting Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill. She also spoke about having Harriet Tubman on the bill would show the history and diversity in our country. 

“I think that this is a moment in history, for all women. I think that it is great that they noticed how big her impact was, and that most people want to make that change,” said Emerson freshman Sofia El-Ansari. 

Ever since this idea was pitched, people have been looking to make additional overdue changes to U.S currency. After Harriet Tubman was decided to go on the $20 bill, plans were being put forth for other women and Civil Rights leaders on the $5 and $10 bills such as Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Susan B. Anthony. 

“There are many people in history who are deserving of an honor such as this, but I think putting her is an important first step to change,” said Emerson freshman Juliana Palladino. Expectantly, the Biden administration can make this happen after the long wait.