Visa Card depicting Harriet Tubman doing the ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute sparks backlash

OneUnited Bank, America’s largest black-owned financial institution, says the gesture is one of love

OneUnited BankHarriet Tubman limited-edition Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card (Credit: OneUnited Bank)

OneUnited Bank has sparked outrage after it decided to celebrate Black History Month with a limited-edition Harriet Tubman Visa card that depicts the freedom fighter doing the Black Panther “Wakanda Forever!” salute.

Social media exploded in reactions after someone posted a screenshot of the card which shows Tubman in the head wrap she normally has in illustrations. But things get a little weird when she’s got her hands up in that now-infamous hand gesture.

READ MORE: Harriet Tubman Museum set to open in 2020 in New Jersey

“Omg this is legitimately hilarious I had to screenshot it before it’s deleted. A debit card with Harriet Tubman throwing up the Wakanda salute,” read the caption. “I thought for sure this was just a brand doing “brand things,” but even a “Black-owned” bank has to know this is bad, right?”

To their point, OneUnited Bank actually is one of the largest African-American owned banks in the country and the image they used was taken comes from a painting by Adonis Parker called “The Conqueror.”

READ MORE: Maryland legislators unveil bronze statues of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass

The card is reportedly only being offered in 2020 as an option for previous cardholders who want to a get a new design when they decide to replace their cards.

”We have the power to place Harriet Tubman on a global payment device in celebration of Black History Month. This symbol of Black empowerment in 2020 will pave the way for the Harriet Tubman design on the $20 bill,” Teri Williams, the President and COO of OneUnited, explained in a press release.

However, Williams failed to address – or even apologize for – what many believe was the tasteless additional of the Wakanda Salute. On social media, the bank justified using Tubman’s image in such a manner.

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