Treasury Secretary Harriet Tubman to become first African-American woman to be on U.S. currency

The symbolism of the swap is very significant. Jackson was a former slave owner while Tubman was antislavery crusader.

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A photoshopped version of the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. play

A photoshopped version of the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman.

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Harriet Tubman will become the first African-American to be on any US currency note, replacing Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, on the $20 bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday.

Harriet Tubman play

Harriet Tubman

(Getty Image)


“Today, I’m excited to announce that for the first time in more than a century, the front of our currency will feature the portrait of a woman, Harriet Tubman, on the $20 note,” Lew told reporters during a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “Her incredible story of courage and commitment to equality embody the ideals of democracy that our nation celebrates, and we’ll continue to value her legacy by honoring her on our currency.”

The symbolism of the swap is very significant. Jackson was a former slave owner while Tubman was antislavery crusader.


Tubman was born into slavery in the 19th century. She later joined the antislavery movement and organised several slaves into freedom through the underground road network.

Before she died in 1931, she became active in the campaign for women's suffrage. 

US Democratic presidential candidate hopeful Hillary Clinton hailed the decision as a "better choice."

“A woman, a leader, and a freedom fighter,” Clinton tweeted. “I can’t think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman.”


Hillary's rival for the Democratic nomination ,Sen. Sander, also tweeted “I cannot think of an American hero more deserving of this honor than Harriet Tubman.”


The last woman featured on U.S. paper money was Martha Washington, who was on a dollar silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. The only other woman ever featured on U.S. paper money was Pocahontas, from 1865 to 1869. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea are on dollar coins, according to UK's DailyMail.

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