Statement on Harriet Tubman and the $20 Bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

We have mixed feelings about the Treasury Department’s decision to place ex-enslaved and black feminist abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill. On one hand, it’s past time this country recognizes the important contributions black women have made toward moving this country toward a more perfect union. And we do understand that representation is important.

 

On the other hand, what good is representation and symbolic gestures without substantive change behind them? This same country that has chosen to put a black woman on our currency is the same country that has decided to occupy Cayce Homes in Nashville with a greater police presence. It’s the same country that has chosen to arrest 6-11 year olds at Hobgood elementary in Murfreesboro. It’s the same country who has passed discrimination legislation against the trans community. It’s the same country where the wage gap between white men and women of color is greater than ever.


If Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bills does anything, we hope it will compel us to materialize the freedom and liberation Tubman fought for. If the image does anything, we hope it will encourage us to realize that black lives and black women do, indeed, matter.

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