Treasury Department Keeping Harriet Tubman Out of Your Wallet

By CultureBanx Team

  • Trump administration noncommittal about Harriet Tubman being face of $20 bill
  • The new currency designs were expected to be unveiled in 2020

Putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill continues to remain at a stand still within the Trump administration. Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist who is a civil rights hero, has caused the Treasury Department to become noncommittal as to whether she would one day be the new face of the $20.

Why This Matters: Images of Tubman, which were featured prominently on the Treasury Department’s website at the end the Obama administration, were removed when Trump’s Treasury Department overhauled its website last year.  In 2016, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced the currency was being redrawn, adding Tubman to the front and moving President Andrew Jackson to the back.

The new currency designs were expected to be unveiled in 2020, now that’s not happening ensuring Andrew Jackson will be around a lot longer. “The redesign of the next currency series is still in the early stages… it would likely be more than 10 years before the new $20 note is released,” wrote Drew Maloney, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has the final say on all currency redesigns and has historically shown a reluctance to make the changes a priority. The ultimate timeline would be dictated by the agency’s ability to design security features needed to prevent counterfeiting.

Situational Awareness: Perhaps we can learn a lesson from our neighbors to the the North. Almost a decade before Rosa Parks sparked the civil rights movement in the U.S., a woman in Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond kicked off Canada's with a similar act of defiance at a segregated movie theater. In March, Desmond became the first black person to appear on Canadian currency. She's also the first woman to appear alone who's not a British royal.

CBx Vibe: Growing Pains” Alessia Cara