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  • 작성자 사진Lee Noo-ri

[World] A New $20 for History and Diversity

최종 수정일: 2021년 4월 19일

No. 150 / Mar 8, 2021


Soon, the United States (U.S.) $20 bill will face a change. The $20 figure will be changed from former President Andrew Jackson to Harriet Tubman. In 2016, during the Obama administration, the plan to put Harriet Tubman on the bill was pushed forward, but it fell through when the Trump administration took office in 2017. This year, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on January 25, “The Treasury Department is taking steps to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes.”.


Who are Andrew Jackson and Harriet Tubman, and why is one being replaced by the other? Andrew Jackson was the son of an Irish immigrant and became a working-class president. The term Jackson democracy was coined to describe the enhanced political status of the common people of the U.S. However, only workers and farmers were included in Jackson’s low-social-status group, not evicted natives and black slaves. He was said to have maintained slavery and suppressed the natives.

The replacement for Andrew Jackson is Harriet Tubman, a black human rights activist. She began her life as a slave on a farm in Maryland. Soon, Lincoln became president, and a free state began to emerge in the northern states. She made several attempts to escape to the north at the age of 29, and finally managed to escape to northern Philadelphia with the help of an organization called the Underground Railroad. “The Underground Railroad” helped black people escape slavery, and Harriet worked for the organization from 1850 to 1860, beginning shortly after her escape, and helping more than 300 blacks escape to the north. She used her own money to share her freedom and went back to the southern slave zone to help other black slaves escape. She left no one behind. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, she served in the Union Army, starting as a chef and nurse, and also served as an armed scout and spy. She attacked the Combahee River and rescued more than 700 slaves. The rescued slaves were of great help to the Union Army because they were a force that could be used. However, because she was black, she did not receive a salary and was excluded from the pension list. After her retirement, she traveled to various parts of the U.S. to support women’s voting rights. Harriet Tubman helped black people settle down and gain economic independence for the rest of their lives.

It is the first time that a black person will appear on U.S. currency, and it is the first time in 100 years that a woman will appear. The figures on the seven bank notes currently in circulation are all white males. There have been continuous calls for American black people and women to be shown on the currency. The appearance of Harriet Tubman, a black female activist, as a currency figure is a step toward diversity and respect for human rights in the modern U.S. This gesture is a symbol of respect for the rights of black people, women, and natives who were implicitly excluded from society.

 

By Lee Noo-ri, AG Reporter

cabello1706@ajou.ac.kr

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