BY YVETTE BROWN
On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman will be the first African-American to have her image appear on U.S. paper currency and the first woman in over a century.
Southeast Queens residents responded to the announcement of the anti-slavery activist appearing on a new series of $20 bills.
“[This is a major step] in the right direction at recognizing black historical figures, but I can’t help feel like [this is] just a way to distract our culture from the real problems,” said David Browne, a Jamaica resident.
“Black Lives Matter is still a strong movement and I [hope this] doesn’t distract [everyone].”
Tubman will appear on the front of the $20 bills, while Andrew Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill where he’ll be incorporated into the image of the White House. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that the image could be the statue of Jackson riding horseback in Lafayette Square across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, according to USA Today.
“I’m excited to see the new bills, it’s been a long time coming and I think her and many other African-American women need more recognition for their part in history,” said Daniqua James, a Laurelton resident and student at Queensborough Community College.
Another resident explained that he didn’t really care who is on the bills.
“It doesn’t really matter, look at how long it took for something like this to happen, and no one is questioning why now, because the bills are prone to being copied and used as counterfeit? I don’t believe that and I don’t really think these things matter,” said Darnell, a student at York College. “There are bigger issues at hand, we need to look at the things in our community before we talk about money that we can barely hold on to.”
The $20 bills aren’t the only U.S. paper currency to see a change. The $5, $10 and $20 bills will be changed over the next four years, but will be produced at different times over the next decade.
The back of the $10 bill will tell the story of the women’s suffrage movement, which created the 19th amendment allowing women to vote in 1920. According to reports, the back of the bill will honor Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul.
The $5 bill will still have former President Abraham Lincoln on the front, but the image of the Lincoln Memorial on the back will be redesigned to show some of the historical moments that happened there, like opera singer Marian Anderson’s concert in 1939 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech that took place in 1963.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.