The question of who represents the United States via their face on the nation’s paper currency came to head under the white supremacist leadership of former President Donald Trump. After it was decided that the great abolitionist and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman would grace the $20 bill, Trump delayed the process. It has now been taken up by the Biden administration. In a new book detailing the context of race and democracy that frames the reasons why Tubman and not, say, Andrew Jackson belongs on the bill, author Clarence Lusane takes us on a critically important historical tour.
Dr. Clarence Lusane is the former chair of Howard University’s Department of Political Science and the current director of its International Affairs program. He is an author, activist, scholar, lecturer, and journalist. For more than 40 years, he has written about and been active in national and international human rights, anti-racism politics, diaspora engagements, U.S. foreign policy, democracy building, and social justice issues. He spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on Rising Up With Sonali about his new book, Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy.
The views expressed here and on Rising Up With Sonali do not necessarily reflect the opinion of YES! Media.
Sonali Kolhatkar is currently the racial justice editor at YES! Media and a writing fellow with Independent Media Institute. She was previously a weekly columnist for Truthdig.com. She is also the host and creator of Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. Sonali won First Place at the Los Angeles Press Club Annual Awards for Best Election Commentary in 2016. She also won numerous awards including Best TV Anchor from the LA Press Club and has also been nominated as Best Radio Anchor 4 years in a row. She is the author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, and the co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women's Mission. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights, 2023). She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. She reflects on her professional path in her 2014 TEDx talk, “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host.” She can be reached at sonalikolhatkar.com