“She’s deserving of it,” Harriet Tubman’s great-grandniece, Pauline Copes-Johnson said, following today’s big announcement from The Treasury Department that Harriet had been chosen to replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. “What she has done and what she went through… no other person has done the same.”Harriet was born into slavery in 1822 but emerged from the ordeal as one of the most respected and effective leaders of the abolitionist and women’s right movements. After she died in 1913, she became an icon of American courage and freedom.
The Treasury Department has proudly made her the first African-American to appear on U.S. paper currency and the first woman in more than a century. Jackson will be moved to the other side of the greenback, possibly shown riding a horse.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that reading an amazing book led in part to his decision to choose Harriet as the woman most worthy of being honored on the $20. It’s called Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, written by Catherine Clinton and published last year. The bio presents a different Tubman than he learned about in school; she did more for the country than even he, an American history buff, knew.