Black Culture Club pushes for Harriet Tubman $20 bill

Yazniek Nixon, president of the Black Culture Club, signs the letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as club adviser Ed Golden looks on.

      The Black Culture Club at Mansfield Senior High School is urging United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “stand up and be bold” on plans to feature Harriet Tubman on the redesigned $20 bill.

      Officers and adviser Ed Golden signed a letter to Mnuchin on Monday in the presence of 30 club members who signed a supplemental signature sheet.

      Tubman, an abolitionist and political activist, was one of the most prominent African American figures of the 19th century.

      The club’s letter referenced Mnuchin’s May 22 announcement that the redesign of the $20 bill featuring Tubman would not be ready in time for the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. It was ratified in August 1920.

      “Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure who stood up to racism, she is a role model to young kids who learn about her in school,” the club’s letter said. “She was a leader of democracy for all races. She was an advocate for the right for women to vote.”

      Noting that Tubman also was a cook, a nurse and a spy for the North during the Civil War, the letter said, “This meant she put her life at risk every day and that makes her a true war hero.”

      Black Culture Club officers reminded Mnuchin that in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee that he said he felt “that the U.S. currency should be more reflective of American diversity.”

      Explaining the club’s purpose, the officers wrote, “The Mansfield Senior High School Black Culture Club (is) a student organization whose mission is to engage, teach and promote knowledge of African-American culture and diversity.

      “As future leaders of this country and high school students, it is our duty to promote public dialogue, provide educational programs and continuously improve our community and country,” the letter said. “All students at Mansfield Senior High school are learning of the African-American post, engaging in the present to advance it and dreaming of a future that will expand acceptance.”

      The letter said moving the project forward would not impede work to “meet the security feature” of the redesigned bill.

      In conclusion, the club asked Mnuchin that he “not use this moment in history as a political game, but to stand up and be bold.”

      “You alone have the authority to finish this promise that was made to communities of color, women, girls and all Americans that Harriet Tubman would be the new face of the redesigned $20 bill,” the letter said.

      “All we are requesting is that you continue this promise and design the bill for Americans to see for the 2020 celebration of the 19th Amendment. Thank you for your consideration.”

      Other club officers who signed the letter include Ben Miller, vice president; Alyanala Horn, secretary; Myliesha Bradley, treasurer; and Sequoya Cooke and Kiarah Ross, public relations.

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