After four years of stalling, the push to replace Andrew Jackson’s image with Harriet Tubman‘s is being revisited, according to Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“The Treasury department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes. It’s important that our notes—our money—people don’t know what a note is—reflect the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” Psaki said during a White House press briefing on Monday.
A timeline would be revealed by the Treasury Department. Janet Yellen, Biden’s nominee to head the department is still awaiting confirmation by the Senate but is expected to be confirmed on Monday.
In 2019 New York Senator Chuck Schumer ordered an investigation into the delay of placing Tubman on the bill which would replace Jackson, one of the country’s first presidents and a known slave owner.
Prior to Schumer’s probe order Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified on Capitol Hill, revealing that the imagery replacement would not occur until sometime in 2028. He blamed the delay on the implementation of security grades to the $5 and $10 as priority.
The move to place Tubman on the $20 bill was one of the last implementations of the Obama-era. In 2916 Obama announced the intention to make Tubman the face of the bill as a tribute to the abolitionist who risked her life and freedom to free her fellow slaves out of bondage.
The switch to Tubman’s imagery was intended to take place in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. If the plan is executed Tubman would make history as the first African-American to be honored on American currency.
However as Trump took office he made it painfully clear in undoing most of Obama’s policies that Tubman replacing Jackson was off the table, claiming that he intended to keep Jackson on the currency in place of “political correctness,” stating that Jackson was on of his American heroes.
The Black delegation has been patiently waiting for Harriet to take her rightful place on American currency for the last five years. There’s no time like the present to make it happen as the country moves to hold the new administration accountable on its promises to help elevate the lives of Black people in America on several fronts.