Following recent reports that Harriet Tubman would not appear on the $20 bill until Donald Trump leaves office, one NY-based designer has come up with a solution.
We recently reported about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announcement that $20 bills featuring abolitionist and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman would not appear in circulation until 2028. However, a few minutes after Mnuchin announced that Tubman’s likeness was pushed back until next decade, 33-year-old designer Dano Wall tweeted “we’ll see about that.”
Wall has created a 3-D stamp of Tubman that can be superimposed over Andrew Jackson on all $20 bills. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Wall has sold out of his first run of stamps and is in a rush to create more.
“My goal is to get 5,000 stamps out there,” Wall told the Sentinel. “If there are 5,000 people consistently stamping currency, we could get a significant percent of circulating $20 bills [with the Tubman] stamp, at which point it would be impossible to ignore.”
Wall revealed that he started making the stamp in 2017 after the Trump administration expressed their disinterest in placing Tubman on the bill. Former White House staffer and reality TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman wrote in her book, Unhinged, that Trump said “you want me to put that face on the twenty-dollar bill?” when shown an image of Tubman.
Wall says he had a vague idea of Tubman’s legacy before creating his stamps but told the Sentinel “the more you learn about her, the more you are in awe of what she was able to accomplish.” After receiving a grant from the Awesome Foundation in 2018, Wall has sold more than 600 stamps on Etsy since last October.
“Putting Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill would have constituted a monumental symbolic change, disrupting the pattern of white men who appear on our bills,” he said, “and, by putting her on the most popular note currently in circulation, indicates exactly what kind of a life we choose to celebrate; what values we, as a country, most hope to emulate. Harriet Tubman’s unparalleled grit, intelligence, and bravery over the course of her long life certainly make her worthy of such an honor.”
For anyone wondering about the validity of the bills, Wall has been careful not to violate the federal law against defacing currency.
“You can’t cover any text or numbers or anything on it to serve as an advertisement,” Wall said. “Anything outside of that—if the bill is still fit for circulation is fine. You can write on it and mark in any way.”
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