When the news broke that abolitionist and organizer of the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman would be featured on the $20 bill, the Internet was flooded with a myriad of reactions.
What many people didn’t mention or ask is how this unforeseeable idea even came to be?
Sofia, 11, of Cambridge, Massachusetts wrote President Barack Obama a letter back in 2014 after completing a school project on historic American heroes and noticing there are currently no women heroes honored on our standard U.S. currency.
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She became very curious and decided to direct her question straight to the POTUS himself.
Her letter explained why she thought there should be women on money which included the very accurate assessment that “if there were no women there wouldn’t be men.”
She also took the initiative to include a list of well-accomplished phenomenal women who would be more than suitable to put on a bill or coin which included Rosa Parks, Emily Dickinson, and the president’s own wife, Michelle Obama.
Just two short years later, and the U.S. Treasuryannounced the inclusion of Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, who was also one of the women on Sofia’s list, although she mistakenly wrote her name as “Harriet tudman.”
Sofia reportedly received a special phone call about the change on her birthday from Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
“I was so happy and I was weeping,” Sofia said upon receiving the news. “If you really think about what you really want to change and put your heart and mind to it, then you can do anything.”
The treasury is knocking out two birds with one stone with Tubman as the first African-American and woman to appear on U.S. paper currency in modern history.
While there was some talk before about replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with a woman, it is very fitting that a former slave and notable abolitionist would replace the face of Andrew Jackson, a president whose unfavorable reputation connects him with ownership of slaves and the “Trail of Tears” saga, which displaced Native Americans from their homeland.
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