UW professor pushes for the appreciation of Tubman’s legacy to start on $20

She calls for more monuments and statues to remember Tubman’s legacy.
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 8:35 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Biden Administration is returning to a move first brought about by the Obama Administration, saying at the end of January that the new president would like to see Harriet Tubman replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

An associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Christy Clark-Pujara, says that it is a start, but she would like to see more.

Clark-Pujara is advocating that the move is the first of many, hoping it would lead to commemorative monuments, statues and museums in every state to celebrate Tubman and teach people about her life and legacy.

“Harriet Tubman represented the best of us, and when I say us, I’m talking about Americans,” said Clark-Pujara. “People who love freedom, liberty and democracy, she represented the best of us, and she gave her everything.”

Clark-Pujara says that there is a narrow idea of what Tubman did, with most just remembering her work on the underground railroad. Tubman also worked as a scout for the Union Army, leading a military campaign for the same army. After the Civil War, she continued to fight for human rights, women’s rights and working to help others climb out of poverty.

The professor noted that going above and beyond the $20 is important because people use less cash than ever before. According to a survey last year from the investment website Grow, only 37% carry cash. And polling from U.S. Bank found that half of the people who carry cash usually have under $20.

Clark-Pujara hopes that the combined efforts of putting Tubman on the bill and opening more locations for people to learn about and remember Tubman will be a better way to appreciate her life for years to come.

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