Harriet Tubman boots Andrew Jackson: students respond

Toni Pennello, Staff Writer

As of April 20, for the very first time, the face of the US $20 bill will display someone who is not a white man.

Rather than the longstanding image of Andrew Jackson, the front of the bill will picture Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who led many other slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

In stark, perhaps symbolic contrast, the back will still show the image of slave owner Andrew Jackson.

Along with this change, according to CNN, women like Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, among others, will be added to the $5 and $10 bills.

Some kind of response from American citizens is to be expected, and the opinions of Wilkes Students appear to be rather similar.

Sophomore psychology major Angela Jacobs had not heard of the change, but stated that it was “interesting.” Jacobs did, however, express confusion as to Tubman sharing the bill with Jackson.

“I think it would make more sense for her to be on the $5 bill because Lincoln freed the slaves. I just think that would be more appropriate,” Jacobs explained.

Cameron Kazokas, a junior electrical engineering major, has no qualms with the change, and is rather indifferent about it.

“I think it’s big news, but I don’t really have an opinion on it,“ Kazokas explained. “I don’t see a reason for her not to be on it.”

When asked what he thought about Andrew Jackson remaining on the back of the bill, Kazokas seemed displeased.

“…He was a notorious slave owner. It’s a big contrast. It’s hypocritical,” said Kazokas.

Junior electrical engineering major Mike Szumski, who was with Kazokas, agreed that he had no problem with the change. As for Jackson staying on the bill, Szumski said “Hypocritical is a good word to describe that.”

“I think it’s an interesting choice. I like it,” said Jennifer Lee, sitting outside a Breiseth Hall classroom.

“I don’t know how I feel about Andrew Jackson also being on it. I think that if they made that decision to put her on it they should have stuck with it completely… no other money has two faces on it,” she explained.

“Obviously they could have done more, but it is a big step so it is significant,” Lee said.