By Samantha McKenzie
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew made history this week. He publicly announced that abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s image will appear on a new series of $20 bills, making her the first African-American to appear on U.S. paper currency and the first woman in more than a century.
Her goal was freedom. Her passion was her people. She is an American hero. A savior indeed. When Harriet Tubman’s face hits the new $20 bill, we will be reminded of a shameful part of the country’s history.
But more so, we will be reminded of the face of courage and sacrifice. Her image will testify to strength and bravery and undeniable perseverance. She will remind me that I should never give up. That I should be relentless on the path to my own emancipation. Holding that new $20 in my hand will remind me to fear death a little less and that we should all have one thing we are willing to die for.
She will surely remind me to never forget that injustice first lives in the heart, then the land. And that determination can light the way. And that most claim belief after the reward.
There isn’t enough currency to salute all of the women who deserve this acknowledgement. I see a memorial wall for all of our great female heroes in the future. Maybe a museum erected to finally tell our collective story is around the bend. We certainly deserve our due.
Thank you Harriet Tubman for freeing us, yet again.