Harriet Tubman is about to displace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. I do not object to placing the visage of an abolitionist on US currency. But, it seems to me that someone with a doctoral degree and more than a passing interest in American history shouldn’t have to Google the individual to find out who the abolitionist was. (Which I did and her story is compelling.)
Why wasn’t a well known abolitionist figure like Fredrick Douglas chosen (easy he’s a “man”)? Why wasn’t a well known figure like Harriet Beecher Stowe chosen (easy, she’s WHITE)? Why wasn’t a well known figure like William Lloyd Garrison chosen (very easy, he’s a WHITE man, but was he ever eloquent – footnote)?
If you google “famous abolitionists” a page pops up with the visages of 25 people. I must admit to not having heard of the vast majority of these people. However, Harriet Tubman is not pictured.
Let us remember that Andrew Jackson was our seventh president, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was pivotal in winning the War of 1812 (hero of the Battle of New Orleans). Without him the title of this post would be, “Blimey! But who is this Harriet Tubman who just replaced Winston Churchill on the 5 pound note?” (The British 5 pound note has formerly pictured such noteworthy people as William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. I have heard of them.)
Footnote: (Famous quote from William Lloyd Garrison)