U.S. Tubman note hits roadblock down south

This April was the second anniversary of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s announcement regarding Harriet Tubman replacing seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson on the obverse of a forthcoming $20 banknote.

Lew, who also announced the government’s new $5 and $10 notes would be revised to recognize women’s rights and civil rights movements, said the first note – this depicting Tubman – would enter circulation in 2020, during the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in the U.S.

Last year, however, Lew’s successor, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC: “Ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It’s not something I’m focused on at the moment. People have been on the bills for a long period of time. And this is something we will consider. Right now, we’ve got a lot more important issues to focus on.”

According to Politifact, U.S. President Donald Trump has “invoked and praised” Jackson, whose portrait is hung in the Oval Office.

Tubman, a Black woman who freed hundreds of slaves in the mid-19th century, would be the first woman to be on a U.S. banknote since first First Lady Martha Washington was depicted on the $1 silver certificates of 1891. Tubman was responsible for guiding enslaved African Americans to St. Catharines, Ont. as part of the Underground Railroad.

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