THE TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL
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- The Haunted Image of Harriet Tubman on the Twenty-Dollar Bill;
Get In Touch. CNBC Newsletters. Trump is not the only one discomfited by the idea of Tubman on our currency. Should a woman who was born an enslaved commodity be on money in the first place?
Would she think the minting of her likeness an honor or an uncouth placation? When Tubman escaped from her plantation, in , a published notice offered a reward of a hundred dollars for her return. The scholar Daina Ramey Berry argued, in a Slate essay , in , that the Tubman bill would be a fitting tribute, and compared it to the case of Queen Nanny, the great Jamaican Maroon who defeated British armies to establish settlements in the Blue Mountains, and who appears on the five-hundred-dollar Jamaican bill.
United States currency/$20 bill
We are meant to feel roused in knowing that Tubman would be the first black person to appear on federal currency. But, as Berry reminds us, black people have been on money before: Confederate states circulated notes that featured quaint sketches of enslaved laborers holding tools and tilling soil.
Perhaps a paper that has accommodated so many dead Presidents is bound to blunt the vitality of our greatest freedom fighter. It is a carte de visite—a calling card—and it features Tubman in her youth.
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She is draped on a chair, wearing a fashionable dress with a bodice cinched to her waist and a voluminous skirt lavishly sweeping the floor. The image is beautifully intimidating. As a candidate, Trump routinely made appeals to African-American voters, challenging them to abandon the Democratic Party, and since taking office he has frequently boasted about the falling unemployment rate of black Americans.
He has also repeatedly been accused of bigotry, most recently by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified before Congress last week that his ex-boss was a "cheat" and a "racist. Trump has also expressed admiration for Jackson, visiting his grave early in his administration and subsequently tweeting, "We honor your memory.
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We build on your legacy. Trump realDonaldTrump March 15, It usually takes more than a decade to update paper currency.