Harriett Tubman was a multifaceted woman. She wore many hats during her lifetime and achieved great successes. She is the quintessence of many women of color today including Madame C. J. Walker.
“God’s time [Emancipation] is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” –Harriet Tubman
How ironic the woman who freed so many slaves via the Underground Railroad, a nurse, spy for the Union, and a feminist, is now going to be the face of the $20 dollar bill?
Although Andrew Jackson will still be on the back, we must celebrate this accomplishment as it is progress to recognize the contribution of many women who sacrificed so much for us today. The Women on 20s began the campaign to present women on the $20 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage movement in 2020. They held an online election to decide which woman should be the first on the $20 and over 600,000 people voted for Harriet Tubman. After the election, they began to petition President Obama and the Treasury Department.
In an interview with the Independent published May 2015 when the campaign began, Ernestine “Tina” Martin Wyatt, the great great great grand-niece of Harriet Tubman, expressed her thoughts on how her aunt would feel about the accomplishment. “In spite of all of this Aunt Harriet would be far happier and sacrifice this honour (of sorts) if people of all races treated each other with love, honour, respect, and dignity.”
Some little-known facts about Harriett that personify why she is so highly favored:
- Harriet’s nickname was Moses because she led her people to freedom.
- After establishing the Underground Railroad, spying for the Union and nursing soldiers, Harriet was never compensated for her work supporting the Union.
- She worked alongside Susan B. Anthony during the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
A great observation stated by @Bdel1014 on twitter, slavery was abolished in 1865, add these numbers together equals 20 which leads to next important points.
Harriet Tubman was a slave. She was considered 3/5ths a human. She was chattel or property. She and many others were commodities. They established the institution of capitalism and expanded economics in the US. It is ironic because women of color are doing exactly what Harriet and others did. As multifaceted individuals; women, entrepreneurs, humanitarians, mothers, etc., we are steering the American economy. We need to acknowledge her POWER is OUR POWER. It is gratifying and deserving to have one of OUR QUEENS on the face of US currency. Just like The QUEEN on the POUND!
Harriett Tubman will always be admired for her bravery, courage, and strength! She exuded these wonderful qualities during the most challenging times in American History. She and Sojourner Truth are African American heroines no one can deny their significance in America! The legacy continues…