U.S. paper money is getting a historic makeover. For the first time in history, famous Black pioneers will grace the U.S. currency.
Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist born into slavery, will be the new face on the $20 bill. The leader of the Underground Railroad is replacing the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president and a slave owner, will be on the back of the bill. Jacksonville also has a high school named after him.
On the back of the $5 bill, Martin Luther King Jr. and the late opera singer Marian Anderson will join former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Another Black abolitionist, Sojourner Truth, will be on the back of the $10 bill, along with women’s rights activists Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Treasury also announced that the face of its founder, Alexander Hamilton would remain on the front of the $10 bill. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew ten months ago, promised women’s groups that he would place a woman’s face on the $10 bill. When Lew announced his decision last June, he thought it would please the Obama administration.
But he changed his mind as the popular and ethnically diverse Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ renewed Hamilton’s popularity with the American public.
The redesigns, from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, will be announced in 2020 in time for the centennial of woman’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Treasury officials say none of the bills, including a new $5 note, would reach circulation until the next decade.