Showing posts with label Harriet Tubman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harriet Tubman. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 09, 2024


The 2024 Harriet Tubman Commemorative Coin Program celebrates the bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth. Public Law 117-163, the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, directs the U.S. Mint to issue $5 gold coins, $ 1 silver coins, and half dollar clad coins as part of the program.

Coin prices include surcharges of $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar, and $5 for each clad half dollar. The Public Law authorizes the surcharges to be paid to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., in Auburn, New York to advance their missions.

Harriet Tubman was born enslaved as Araminta “Minty” Ross on a Maryland plantation, around 1822. Tubman freed herself from slavery in 1849 with the help of the Underground Railroad network. Though she found freedom in Pennsylvania, she braved the perilous journey repeatedly, returning to Maryland 13 times over the next decade to personally guide about 70 people from slavery to freedom. She provided instructions to approximately 70 additional people who found their way to freedom on their own. Despite laws that put her life at risk and made the journey increasingly dangerous and long, Tubman stated at a women’s suffrage convention in 1896 that she “never lost a passenger” as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

In 1862, Harriet Tubman joined the Union Army as a nurse. She served in multiple roles, including as an Army scout and spy. Tubman proved an exceptional leader, recruiting newly freed men into regiments of African American soldiers. She became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War, the Combahee River Raid. The raid resulted in the freedom of more than 700 enslaved people in South Carolina.

After the Civil War, Harriet Tubman spent the remaining 54 years of her life living in Auburn, New York. There, she continued to work to provide the means necessary to care for newly freed enslaved people, including the young and elderly. She gave speeches in support of women’s suffrage, civil rights, and access to health care – not only for African Americans but for all people. Tubman’s life was characterized by her unwavering determination and active pursuit of freedom in every aspect of American life.

The coins follow the three periods of Harriet Tubman’s life and work. The silver dollar designs reflect her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The half dollar clad designs represent her work during the Civil War. The $5 gold coin represents her life after the Civil War and her later years.

Pre-order your Harriet Tubman Coin here:

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and Becoming Frederick Douglass premiering in October on PBS

Two original documentaries that shed new light on the lives of a pair of towering figures in the struggle to end slavery – Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass – premiere on PBS in October. Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom premieres Tuesday, October 4, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET, and Becoming Frederick Douglass premieres Tuesday, October 11, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS. Both films will stream on and the PBS Video App.

Co-productions of Firelight Films and Maryland Public Television (MPT), the films are directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Attica, Freedom Riders, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and Nicole London.

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Alfre Woodard is the narrator of Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce is the voice of Frederick Douglass in both films.

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom is a rich and nuanced portrait of the woman known as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, who repeatedly risked her own life and freedom to liberate others from slavery. Born in Dorchester County, Maryland – 2022 marks her bicentennial celebration – Tubman escaped north to Philadelphia in 1849, covering more than 100 miles alone. Once there, she became involved in the abolitionist movement and, through the Underground Railroad, guided an estimated 70 enslaved people to freedom. She would go on to serve as a Civil War scout, nurse, and spy, never wavering in her pursuit of equality. Featuring more than 20 historians and experts and grounded in the most recent scholarship, the film goes beyond the standard narrative to explore what motivated Tubman, including divine inspiration, to become one of the greatest freedom fighters in our nation's history.

"With this film, our aim was to go beyond what is covered in history books to create a real, three-dimensional portrait of who Harriet Tubman actually was," Nelson said. "We wanted to examine what motivated her to pursue a revolutionary and often dangerous journey, particularly through her fierce religiosity and metaphysical connection to the divine. This film also has such a distinct sonic layer thanks to powerful narration by the great Alfre Woodard."

Becoming Frederick Douglass is the inspiring story of how a man born into slavery became one of the most prominent statesmen and influential voices for democracy in American history. Born in 1818 on Maryland's Eastern Shore, he escaped from slavery in 1838 and went on to become the most well-known leader of the abolitionist movement. A gifted writer and powerful, charismatic orator, it is estimated that more Americans heard Douglass speak than any other 19th-century figure, Black or white. The documentary explores how Douglass controlled his own image and narrative, embracing photography as a tool for social justice, and the role he played in securing the right to freedom and complete equality for African Americans.

"Given that Frederick Douglass was one of the most prolific and powerful orators of his time, we were interested in exploring how he created and controlled his image, and ultimately how he used it to shift public opinion around abolition," said Nelson. "It was such a gift to have the inimitable Wendell Pierce provide the voice of Douglass to bring his words to life. Wendell's dynamic performance, coupled with the many stunning photographs taken throughout Douglass's lifetime, show how Douglass evolved to become one of the most influential and enduring social justice activists in American history."

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and Becoming Frederick Douglass will stream simultaneously with broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Additional information and resources about the films are available at

Executive producers for Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and Becoming Frederick Douglass are Stanley Nelson and Lynne Robinson. The films are produced and directed by Stanley Nelson and Nicole London. Keith M. Brown and Michael English are the executives in charge of production. Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom was written by Paul Taylor, Nicole London, and Marcia Smith. Becoming Frederick Douglass was written by Anne Seidlitz.

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and Becoming Frederick Douglass are co-productions of Firelight Films and Maryland Public Television with an appropriation from the State of Maryland. These programs are also made possible by Bowie State University, DIRECTV, and Pfizer, Inc. Bowie State is the oldest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland and the first HBCU to become a premier sponsor of a national PBS film.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Harriet Tubman movie coming November 1, 2019

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

HARRIET is set to be released November 1, 2019 and was directed by Kasi Lemons.

The Focus Features film stars Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Congresswoman Beatty Leads Congressional Effort to Put Harriet Tubman on the New Twenty

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) hosted a press conference to condemn Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s senseless decision to indefinitely delay putting renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the new $20, to request more information on the decision from the Trump Administration, and to explore possible legislative remedies. Joining Beatty were the Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Lois Frankel (FL-21), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Jackie Speier (CA-14), as well as U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-04). The press conference coincided with our nation’s observance of Juneteenth, the day commemorating the abolition of slavery in Texas and the former Confederate South

On May 22, 2019, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the new $20 would be delayed until at least 2026 and refused to commit to upholding the decision to place Tubman on the redesigned $20. Since, news reports have called into question the motives behind the delay and contradicted the Trump Administration’s claim that the redesign was still in its early stages. In response, Beatty reintroduced the Woman on the Twenty Act, H.R. 3082. If enacted, H.R. 3082 would require a $20 bill printed after 2022 to prominently feature a portrait of the famous abolitionist.

“We are here today to make clear to Secretary Mnuchin that it is time to put a woman on the twenty,” Beatty said during the press conference. “His decision to delay the release of the new $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman and his refusal to commit to ensuring our currency reflects the values and diversity of our great country is extremely disappointing.” She continued, “Tubman embodies everything that makes up the American spirit—even before America recognized her as a free person—and that is why I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure she finds her rightful place on our nation’s currency.”

Beatty has fought throughout her time in Congress to secure a woman on our nation’s currency. In June 2015, she introduced the Woman on the Twenty Act, directing the Secretary of the Treasury to create a citizens’ panel to recommend a woman to be placed on a $20 bill. Several weeks later, she spoke from the House Floor in support of putting Harriet Tubman on the new $20. The following April, Beatty wrote a letter to former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew calling on the Department to fast track the new note and have it in circulation by 2020. Then, in 2017, Beatty wrote Mnuchin urging him to recommit to the redesign of the $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Harriet Tubman's $20 bill to be delayed until after Trump leaves office

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the redesign of the $20 bill to feature 19th century abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman has been delayed.

The decision to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, with Tubman on the $20 bill had been made by Mnuchin's predecessor, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who had served in the Obama administration.

Tubman's fate had been in doubt since the 2016 campaign based on critical comments by then-candidate Donald Trump, who branded the move an act of "pure political correctness."

Mnuchin, however, said the delay in unveiling a $20 redesign had been prompted by the decision to redesign the $10 bill and the $50 bill first for security reasons. He said those bills will now be introduced before a redesigned $20 bill.

Mnuchin made the announcement of the delay in response to questions from Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., during an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee.

"Currently our currency does not reflect the diversity of people who have contributed to our great American history," Pressley told Mnuchin.

Mnuchin would not say whether he supported keeping Tubman on the redesigned $20. He said under the revised timeline, that decision will be left to whoever is Treasury secretary in 2026.

Mnuchin said the redesigned $20 bill will not come out until 2028 which he said means that a final design for that bill will not be announced until 2026.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Previously Unknown Photo of Young Harriet Tubman To Go on Public View for the First Time

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will display—for the first time—the Emily Howland photography album containing a previously unknown portrait of abolitionist and Underground Railroad-conductor Harriet Tubman. The Howland album will be the museum’s first acquisition to be displayed in Heritage Hall, the museum’s main entry hall. It will be on exhibit Monday, March 25, through Sunday, March 31, and then relocated to the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition on the C3 Level in the museum’s History Gallery.

“This photo album allows us to see Harriet Tubman in a riveting, new way; other iconic portraits present her as either stern or frail,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of the museum. “This new photograph shows her relaxed and very stylish. Sitting with her arm casually draped across the back of a parlor chair, she’s wearing an elegant bodice and a full skirt with a fitted waist. Her posture and facial expression remind us that historical figures are far more complex than we realize. This adds significantly to what we know about this fierce abolitionist—it helps to humanize such an iconic figure.”

A recently announced visitation policy allowing for walk-up entry without passes Monday through Friday starting at 1 p.m. will provide visitors access to viewing the Tubman photograph.

Two years ago, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress jointly acquired the photograph as part Howland’s photo album. Howland (1827–1929), a Quaker school teacher, taught at Camp Todd, the Freedman’s School in Arlington, Virginia. The album was originally compiled as a gift for her. Containing 49 images taken circa 1860s, it includes a more commonly known Tubman portrait taken later in life and images of Sen. Charles Sumner, woman’s activist and abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, organizer Samuel Ely, William Henry Channing, Col. C.W. Folsom, Charles Dickens and the only known photograph of John Willis Menard, the first African American man elected to the U.S. Congress.

Read more about Emily Howland's photo album here:

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Trump Treasury won't commit to putting Harriet Tubman on $20 bill

The Trump administration hasn't commited to an Obama-era pledge to put abolitionist and civil rights hero Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, according to a statement from a Senate Democrat.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told The New York Times that the Treasury Department responded to her letter -- which was questioning the status of the change originally announced by the Obama administration in April 2016 -- by claiming that no designs for the $20 bill or plans to include Tubman's image had been finalized.

“The redesign of the next currency series is still in the early stages, and neither the final designs nor all features have been finalized for the new notes,” Treasury Department assistant secretary Drew Maloney wrote to Shaheen.

“For this reason, the department is unable to provide additional information regarding the potential designs at this time.”

Shaheen blasted the response, which she called "severely" disappointing and knocked the Trump administration for not following through with the promise to honor the civil rights legend.

“I am severely disappointed by the Trump administration’s failure to prioritize the redesign of the $20 bill to honor Harriet Tubman, and other trailblazing women and civil rights leaders,” Shaheen said in a statement to the Times. “Now that plan has been shelved without notice or reason.”

“I’ll continue to press the Treasury Department to expedite the redesign of the $20 bill and keep its promise to the American people,” she said.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Baltimore park space where Confederate statue once stood rededicated to Harriet Tubman

More than 200 local residents and elected leaders gathered in a tree-lined corner of a Baltimore park Saturday to rededicate the space, which had long venerated two Confederate generals, to the famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.

“We stand on the shoulders of this great woman,” said Ernestine Jones-Williams, 71, a Baltimore County resident and a Tubman family descendant who spoke on behalf of the family. “We are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. Thank you, and God bless you.”

The ceremony in Wyman Park Dell, on the 105th anniversary of Tubman’s death, took place feet from the now-empty pedestal of a large, bronze, double-equestrian statue of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and officially renamed the space Harriet Tubman Grove.

At the event Saturday, city officials and local residents cited the events in Charleston and Charlottesville, but largely focused on more local efforts to have Baltimore’s statues removed, including a grass-roots petition drive.

They said the removal of the statues has imbued the spaces where they once stood, such as the Harriet Tubman Grove, with their own symbolic power.

“Since the removal of the Lee-Jackson statue, this park has become a gathering place for city residents of all backgrounds to meet, talk and enjoy the location as a space that symbolizes hope and positive change,” said Ciara Harris, chief of staff to Baltimore Recreation and Parks Director Reginald Moore. “Harriet Tubman Grove will provide the city an opportunity to correct historic injustice to a Maryland native. Our city is properly recognizing an African-American hero.”

Read more: Baltimore park space where Confederate statue once stood is rededicated to Harriet Tubman

Friday, September 01, 2017

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin dismisses question about putting Harriet Tubman on $20 bill

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday declined to say whether the Trump administration would continue with a plan to depict Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Asked during a CNBC television interview about removing President Andrew Jackson from the currency in place of Tubman, an abolitionist and former slave, Mnuchin said: “It’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment.”

The most important reason to make currency changes is to stop counterfeiting, he said.

“People have been on the bills for a long period of time,” he said. “This is something we’ll consider. Right now, we have a lot more important issues to focus on.”

In April 2016, then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he asked the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to accelerate work on the new $20 bill with Tubman on the front. He said he expected the final concept design for the new $20 bill and other bills to be unveiled in 2020 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.


Sunday, April 02, 2017

Library of Congress, Smithsonian buy newly discovered photo of Harriet Tubman

An old photo album containing a rare portrait of the legendary underground railroad conductor Harriet Tubman has been jointly acquired by the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the institutions said Friday.

The new image depicts Tubman as a much younger woman than she appears in other known pictures. It is among 44 rare images in the album, including the only known photograph of John Willis Menard, the first African American man elected to the U.S. Congress.

“We are so thrilled,” Gayle Osterberg, a Library of Congress spokeswoman, said Friday in an email.

“The institutions have agreed to joint ownership and will digitize the photographs as soon as possible,” she wrote. “The intention is to make them as widely available as possible through online images everyone can use.”

Read more: Library of Congress, Smithsonian buy newly discovered photo of Harriet Tubman

Monday, December 05, 2016

Legislators propose Tubman and Douglass statues outside Maryland State House

A proposal to place statues of anti-slavery heroes Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass in the Maryland State House would add a new chapter to the history of Maryland as told through its iconic capitol building.

The plan would help educate future generations of visitors about the key roles in U.S. history played by the two 19th-century Marylanders who were born into bondage on the Eastern Shore.

It would also make a statement about where Maryland stands in the early 21st century — much as the statue of a brooding Chief Justice Roger B. Taney outside the State House’s front door represents the pro-Southern sentiments in the state in the post-Civil War era.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (Anne Arundel), both Democrats, recently proposed the plan to place statues of Tubman and Douglass in the Old House of Delegates Chamber. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) quickly embraced the idea.

The support of the three top leaders makes it virtually certain that Tubman and Douglass will take their place among the select group of historical figures honored with statues at the nation’s oldest state capitol building still being used by a legislature.

Read more: Tubman and Douglass statues would write a new chapter in state history

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Republican congressman trying to block Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

A Republican congressman is trying to block the Treasury from redesigning U.S. currency, a move that could prevent the government from replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa has offered an amendment to a spending bill barring the use of funds to redesign any Federal Reserve note or coin.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced the changes in April. Tubman would become the first African-American on U.S. paper currency and the first woman on paper currency in a century.

Alexander Hamilton's portrait will remain on the front of the $10 bill. The back is to be redesigned to feature Susan B. Anthony.

It wasn't immediately clear why King opposed the redesign. His office did not immediately respond to messages.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ben Carson doesn't think Harriet Tubman should be on the $20 bill

Today Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the announcement announced that Harriet Tubman will be replacing on the front of the $20 instead of Andrew Jackson. Don't get too happy though. No time frame was given for when the change would actually happen although some speculate that it may happen by 2030.

That should be good news to most, but there's always one...

Ben Carson is determined to make sure he gets to play the role of house negro for as long as it's financially viable.

Ben Carson said Wednesday although he respects and admires Harriet Tubman, her likeness shouldn’t replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Nope he feels Andrew Jackson, the slave owner should stay on because he balanaced the federal budget. I am not making this up. watch the video below.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Viola Davis to portray Viola Davis in HBO movie

HBO Films has teamed with writer Kirk Ellis, producer Doug Ellin and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV for a project about Harriet Tubman, with Oscar nominee Viola Davis set to portray the famous abolitionist. Read more: Viola Davis To Star In Harriet Tubman HBO Movie