Move over Andrew Jackson. Harriet Tubman will be the new face on the $20 bill.
And on the back of the $5 bill, Martin Luther King Jr. and the late Black opera singer Marian Anderson will join former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
For the first time in history, famous Black pioneers will grace the U.S. currency. The biggest achievement is that Tubman will be on the front of the $20 bill. The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that Tubman, a Black woman who led thousands of slaves to freedom, would replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president. He also owned 150 slaves on his Hermitage plantation near Nashville, Tennessee.
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.