The Trump administration may have put the brakes on $20 bills bearing Harriet Tubman’s image, but a Brooklyn artist has come up with a 3-D stamp that can provide a clever workaround—if you want it.
As Jasmine Weber writes for HyperAllergic, artist Dano Wall was inspired to create the stamp after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced last year that the Treasury was no longer “focused” on adding Harriet Tubman to the $20 bill. In 2016, the Obama administration laid out a new plan for the denomination that would have Tubman replacing famed ethnic cleansing enthusiast Andrew Jackson (he would, however, still be on the back of the bill).
The proposal drew mixed reviews, as Weber notes. Online, people expressed enthusiasm for having a Tubman $20—which would make her both the first black person and the first woman to be featured on U.S. paper currency. But the fact that the iconic abolitionist would share a note with Jackson, who helped enact the mass genocide of Native Americans, left many underwhelmed. Still others noted the U.S. economy’s long, tangled history with racism, which began with chattel slavery. To have Tubman honored on a symbol of U.S. capitalism felt inappropriate, and some wondered whether Harriet herself would approve of the idea.
But with Wall’s stamp, the currency can become a pseudo-reality; for those interested in the stamp (because you gotta spend that money anyway, I suppose), it can be downloaded and printed off Thingiverse. And yes, it’s perfectly legal for you to stamp your money—you just can’t burn, shred, or otherwise destroy it.
“I would like to see Tubman $20s entering circulation in sufficient numbers to generate conversation about the proposed, now abandoned, plan to replace Andrew Jackson with her,” Wall told HyperAllergic.
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He added that he wants to make 100-200 more Tubman stamps “to circulate as gifts, museum donations, or prizes,” and is also considering using them to raise money for civil rights advocacy organization the Southern Poverty Law Center.