Sorry, but who is Harriet Tubman?


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.)

Roy Filly

Footnote: (Famous quote from William Lloyd Garrison)

I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – and I will be heard!
With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.
Enslave the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.
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About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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5 Responses to Sorry, but who is Harriet Tubman?

  1. mganzi says:

    Dr. Filly, now don’t be provincial. Remember the many great cities like Tubman, Mississippi and Tubmanville, Florida not to mention entertainers like Michael Tubman or political leaders like Jesse Tubman. Then, of course, the ultimate Tubman, Stonewall, who fought for…now which side was it?

  2. Dick Toomey says:

    Doubt if there are a handful of African Americans living today whoever heard of her. Nothing wrong with recognizing Tubman. But axing Jackson is just a beginning – – the step by step process of the greater revisionist agenda. A change here, a change there. Do not be surprised if someday, somebody suggests that the name America is no longer appropriate. It may have been suggested already, for all I know — that the US, not the USA, more definitively stands for new demographics and culture. Obama and his ilk despise America — how it came to be and what it has accomplished — and successfully are changing it — the continuation of this trend at minimum will lead to civil unrest, disobedience and violence — and at worst — civil war.

  3. Bill Grisham CPA says:

    The real pity is that Jackson was an opponent of the central bank and one of his successes was closing it down. I’m sure the Federal Reserve will be happy to see him out of sight on the back of the $20 bill since they are exactly what he would go after if he was around today.

  4. MaryfromMarin says:

    You might find this interesting. I wonder if TPTB realized this?

  5. Roy Filly says:

    Blacks mostly voted Republican from after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century. That’s not surprising when one considers that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the white, segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats. The Democratic Party didn’t welcome blacks then, and it wasn’t until 1924 that blacks were even permitted to attend Democratic conventions in any official capacity.

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