Date
26 July 2017
Detail of a design for the US$20 bill, featuring Harriet Tubman, proposed by a group called Women on 20's. Photo: AFP/Women on 20's
Detail of a design for the US$20 bill, featuring Harriet Tubman, proposed by a group called Women on 20's. Photo: AFP/Women on 20's

Antislavery crusader to be first black featured on US currency

Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman will become the first African-American to be featured on the face of US paper currency when she replaces president Andrew Jackson on the US$20 bill.

She will also be the first woman on US paper currency in more than a century, Reuters reported.

The redesign will move Jackson to the back of the bill alongside an image of the White House, US Treasury Department officials said Wednesday.

A new US$10 bill will keep US founding father Alexander Hamilton on the front, while adding images of five women, all leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, on the back.

The reverse of a new US$5 note will honor events held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Among people featured will be former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., the officials said.

The slew of changes give the Treasury “a chance to open the aperture to reflect more of America’s history”, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told reporters on a conference call.

The decision to replace the seventh president of the United States with Tubman, who was born a slave and helped hundreds of slaves escape using the network of safe houses known as the Underground Railroad, followed public outreach by the Treasury Department regarding which woman should be featured on a bill after they announced plans to feature one on the US$10 note.

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