Harriet Tubman to rightfully replace Jackson on $20

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, marking a historic moment for equal representation of race and gender in American currency.
Tubman, born into slavery, became a leading abolitionist before the Civil War and a revered heroine of American history.
After her own escape, she became a conductor along the Underground Railroad, where she appropriately gained the title, “Moses” for her efforts and remarkable abilities to navigate her passengers to freedom. She later served as a nurse, cook and spy for the Union during the Civil War.
After a series of ballots were cast nationally on behalf of the Women on 20s non-profit organization, Tubman was nominated as one of three candidates out of 15 female contenders. Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks were also voted into the top three.
Barbara Ortiz Howard, founder of Women on 20s, said in a release the transition is necessary for ensuring equal representation of women in the United States.
“It’s time to get the party started honoring women on the new $10 and a new $20 in time for 2020,” Howard said.
The initial Women On 20s petition outlined Tubman’s relentless selflessness, particularly her devotion to serving as a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement and leading more than 300 slaves to freedom.
“Whereas, the Women on 20s campaign has fostered a renewed spirit of hope and expression for greater equality truer to our Nation’s values, voters embraced this opportunity, and further embraced Harriet Tubman and all of the candidates,” the petition read.
Shortly after Lew announced the decision, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to rejoice in the selection.
“A woman, a leader and a freedom fighter,” she tweeted. “I can’t think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman.”
This achievement, however, is much more than swapping a face on a bill. The decision to recognize the contributions of incredible females in American history is a step toward equal representation and acknowledgment of heroic deeds—regardless of demographic.
The decision to include Tubman on the $20 bill has stirred a series of debates: some argue the decision is merely superficial and dishonorable to Tubman’s selfless behavior. Others support the recognition of a female in the currency because it’s time for fair demographic depictions in American society.
While complex and ironic that a woman who was once sold as a possession will now be honored with placement on a frequently used bill, Tubman’s selection provides an opportunity to praise the efforts of a woman—specifically a powerful woman of color— in daily exchange.
In the journey to equal pay, representation and recognition of gender and race in America, this is the start of a necessary movement.