After months of speculation, petitions, and debate, Harriet Tubman is set to replace Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20 bill, marking the first time in more than 100 years that the Treasury has featured a woman on the front of U.S. currency.
Although Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had initially announced plans to put a historical woman on the face of the $10 bill, the Treasury announced today that it will instead redesign the $5, $10, and $20 bills, keeping Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln but replacing Jackson with Tubman.
Tubman, a former slave who became an abolitionist and worked as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, will now serve as the face of the $20 bill. Jackson will still appear on the back of the note.
“The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old,” Lew wrote in a statement. “I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy. You shared your thoughts about her life and her works and how they changed our nation and represented our most cherished values.”
The Tubman news was met online with widespread debate, as celebrities like Uzo Aduba, Ava DuVernay, and Patricia Arquette applauded the Treasury’s decision, while others, like Azealia Banks, denounced the choice. See a few of their tweets below.
This post has been updated throughout.