The U.S. Treasury’s move this week to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill is a milestone for 21st Century America.
For generations, America has struggled to confront its greatest sin and acknowledge the dark cloud it cast over much of our history. The replacement on the front of the $20 bill of a slaveholder who denounced abolitionists with one of abolition’s greatest heroes is a major development in coming to terms with our history.
Placing an African-American hero and a woman on U.S. currency could have a tremendous impact on the way children of color, particularly girls, see themselves. Too many of our children have to actively seek out historical heroes who look like they do. This is an act of respect that will go a long way toward placing African American history at the center of our nation’s discourse.
I congratulate Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and look forward to the redesign in 2020.