Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill. And yes, it's a big deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has announced some major changes coming to paper currency.

America's first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, will remain on the $10 bill (don’t say Broadway never changed anything), but the back of the note will feature leaders of the women's suffrage movement.


Image via Wikimedia Commons.

While President Abraham Lincoln will remain on the face of the $5 bill, key figures from the civil rights movement will be prominently featured on the other side.

But the landmark news is that Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

This will be the first U.S. paper note to feature the portrait of a woman in over 100 years.


Image via National Portrait Gallery/Wikimedia Commons.

Tubman, who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist, returned to the South at least 19 times to free slaves. She went on to lead hundreds of people to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a network of routes and safe houses. During the Civil War, Tubman worked as a spy and nurse for the Union government. After the war, she continued to help black people by turning her home into the Home for Indigent and Aged Negroes.

While the bills won't reach circulation for another decade, this is a huge victory for representation and inclusion.

Dyáni Brown, who long pushed for a woman to appear on the $20, said it best:

GIF via Upworthy/YouTube.

After the $1 and $100 bills, the $20 bill is the third-most widely circulated note.

But Jackson, who booted President Grover Cleveland from the $20 in 1928, has long been a polarizing figure in American history.

Photo by Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images.

In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the U.S. government to forcibly remove thousands of Native Americans from their land. As part of Jackson’s policy, beginning in fall 1838, the Cherokee nation had to hand over their land east of the Mississippi River and migrate more than 2,200 miles to designated “Indian Territory” in present-day Oklahoma. The forced migration, now known as the Trail of Tears, was treacherous. Many faced disease, extreme hunger, and exhaustion. Of the 15,000 who were forced west, nearly 4,000 died along the way.

While there is no reason to continue to honor this man on the face of our money, Jackson will remain on the back of the bill.

People from across the country have been pushing the Treasury Department to remove Jackson from the $20 note and to include a woman on the face of a bill. Now, it's happening in one fell swoop.

Needless to say, the internet is pretty excited about the announcement.

From congressmen...


...and commentators...


...to witty writers...


...and familiar faces.


While most people are heralding the announcement, some argue it’s not the best way to honor Tubman’s legacy.

In a column last year in The Guardian, Steven Thrasher wrote:

"Putting Tubman’s face on the $20 would only obfuscate how much exploitation there is still left to fight in America, among those in prison, nail salons — and those exchanging twenties daily who don’t even know it. We should not let her be used to distract black and brown people from our present economic bondage every time we pay for something."

But when it comes to representation, seeing a woman — particularly a woman of color — in a space we've been kept out of is a major step forward and a milestone worth celebrating.

Hear Dyáni share why she pushed to replace Andrew Jackson with a woman on the $20 bill.

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular