Members of Congress unveil Harriet Tubman coin collection

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., told theGrio it is important to ensure the abolitionist is “not forgotten.”

Credit: Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Congressional members on Tuesday unveiled a coin collection dedicated to the life and legacy of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, told theGrio that congressional members are “excited” about having the social activist’s likeness displayed on currency.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., said it is important “to make sure that Harriet Tubman is not forgotten.”

“There are members of Congress and other leaders in this country that want to erase our history …we need to make sure that more people know about our history,” Bush told theGrio.

On Tuesday, Procter and Gamble sponsored the event at the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the Tubman commemorative coin program. In attendance were U.S. Reps. Beatty; Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., U.S. Sen. Sherod Brown, D-Ohio, Woody Keown, Jr., CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and Karen Hill, CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. Ventris C. Gibson, director of the United States Mint, delivered the keynote address.

Harriet Tubman coins,
The Harriet Tubman $5 gold coin

The coin collection is comprised of five-dollar gold coins, one-dollar silver coins and half-dollar coins which all have images of Tubman and represent different stages of her fight for justice, including contributions she made during the U.S. Civil War and her partnership with the Union Army to free more than 700 enslaved people.

Congressman Meeks said during the ceremony that the coin collection is a symbol of progression and “a mere acknowledgment of the impact Harriet Tubman had on American history.”

Bush told theGrio that Tubman is one of her heroes and that the coin collection makes the lawmaker think about Tubman’s “walk to freedom.”

She said it’s important that Tubman’s legacy be remembered. Now with the release of the coin collection, it can’t be “ignored,” argued the congresswoman.

Rep. Joyce Beatty,
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, speak with reporters at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in Philadelphia, Pa., on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Beatty told theGrio that the coin collection is a “great first step, but obviously, we want to see her on the $ 20 bill.”

The congresswoman said she has been in talks with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen who relayed that the Biden-Harris administration is working on “getting Tubman’s likeness” on the currency, which currently features the portrait of President Andrew Jackson.

In 2022, Yellen revealed that the bill is slated to be released by 2030.

In an exclusive statement previously obtained by theGrio, Yellen said the Biden-Harris administration is committed to ensuring “currency and coinage reflect the totality of the diversity of this country, including placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.”

“We have never had a Black woman on the $ 20 bill,” noted Beatty.

The Ohio lawmaker said she refuses to “give up” on ensuring that Tubman’s face graces the $20 currency.

Speaking on the delay, she noted, “Oftentimes it takes us longer when we’re fighting for Black Americans.”

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