A wave of elation has rippled across America for a step towards equal representation. Amongst 15 historic women, Harriet Tubman(1820-1913), civil rights activist, won the online poll for Women on 20s campaign earlier this week. There are many influential names in support of Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson’s face on the American 20 dollar bill. President Barack Obama has mentioned his interest in having female representation on American currency. This gives hope to many that Obama will put pressure on the treasury to set this into motion.
This small, and delayed token of representation for women and people of colour falls short of satisfactory to many. Although it is wonderful and revolutionary when put into perspective of the traditionalistic nature of capitalism and misogyny, many carry the ‘too little, too late’ point of view. It is especially ironic when it is people of colour who miss out on the riches of capitalism. Actress Raven Symone has publicly expressed her disappointment. “Me personally, I would have chosen Rosa Parks,” Raven explained.
Harriet Tubman was on the list of influential women for a reason. She has been called ‘Moses’ for her part in leading people out of slavery through the Underground Railroad. The influential abolitionist made her escape from Maryland in 1820. Tubman has made long impacting waves through history showing her independence as a women, and her identity beyond slavery. She showed a great deal of bravery in returning from her freedom to liberate others bound to lives on plantations.
Unfortunately, it takes several years from the date of a decision for a new bill to finally be released and circulated. It is not clear how the treasury decides to choose one face to represent a bill rather than another. There is an infinite number of influential figures that have built America. Some of the other women on the list for the campaign include previously mentioned Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger and Wilma Mankiller.
Regardless of when U.S citizens see a women’s face in circulation, what is important is a conversation has been started, voices have been heard. This is a widely talked about topic across America, hopefully sparking the change that has yet to happen for women and people of colour alike.