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Harriet Tubman and the Currency of Resistance


Harriet Tubman and the Currency of Resistance

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that the revised $20 bill will feature the portrait of the legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Tubman was born a slave, escaped to freedom and became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, as well as a campaigner for women’s right to vote. She will be replacing President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. He was a contemporary of hers, who owned slaves (one of 18 presidents who did so) and became wealthy from their forced labor.


Is she not the essence of human courage and spirit. Considering what horrors she faced if she were caught as an escaped slave (especially her) she deserved greater honors that this a long time ago.

The courage of women is often one step braver than that of a man who usually doesn't face that extra punishment women will suffer. She is bravery incarnate. One of humanity's best and bravest.


None of this addresses the decision to leave the founder of the National BANK on the $10 bill, America's first big banker. And note, it was Jackson who busted the bank. Is it possible those had as much to do with this decision, the banker connection? After all, wasn't Washington involved in the same activities Jackson was, wars against Native Americans, and slaveholding? But then, he didn't stop the BANK like Jackson did ...


It would be nice if she was depicted with her rifle. Harriet Tubman was the first Black Panther!

And maybe this will get the change-averse US population to changes of a more practical nature - elimination of the penny and replacement of the dollar bill with a 1 and 2 dollar coin. Then maybe getting rid of the US's archaic measurement system too.

Yeah, I know, radical and utopian.


$20 minimum wage by 2020?


Jackson will still be on the bill? Sounds like a token move to me; it's not like white, male, property-owning racists are under-represented on US currency.


Possibly a token move but it seems more like a symbol of the mediocrity of our culture to have Jackson on the back of the bill. Two faces on one bill? What genius approved that nonsense? Cowardly bureaucrats couldn't just make a straight out change but waffled instead. Now we look exactly like what we are. Ridiculous and not all that talented or bright. A bold and needed move gets whittled down to a craven compromise.

Will this be the Tubman $20 or will it be the Tubman-Jackson bill?


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There is a famous portrait of her with a raised pistol in her left hand ...


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I Like this Change ! :grin:

Harriet Tubman was a Great American !


Yeah, there was once briefly a big mural on the side of a building in a poor Baltimore neighborhood depicting Ms. Tubman with her rifle. But immediately there was a big furore (from the white residents or black residents I can't remember) that the mural might promote more "gun violence" among the poor black neighborhood's youth. (?!?!) It was painted over a few days later.

This was around the same time that (then gang-violence ridden) DC's Pro Basketball Team the "Washington Bullets" (formerly the "Baltimore Bullets" changed their name to the "Washington Wizards". Of course, in a different context, The Clash had written an anti-imperialist song titled "The Washington Bullets" a few years earlier...


I have the utmost respect for this brave woman, but the juxtaposition with a slave holder and a war criminal of that time, who slaughtered many indigenous people, seems to me, a non sequitur.


Yeah, I like Sacajawea Dollars too. But they have never caught on and they won't until they discontinue paper dollars. The strange addiction to paper dollars (no other major country has such a low denomination note - they all use coins) makes no sense - and paper dollars are such a major pain in vending machines, bus fare boxes, toll booths and the like - something I'm reminded of on every visit to Canada.

A dollar coin would save the US Treasury money too. Of course, they will have to put GW on another denomination note.

Oh, and go to much longer-lasting Mylar plastic notes like Canada uses.

And the US need to join the world and get rid of the g-d penny (it costs the treasury between 1.7 and 2.4 cents to make every penny!