For Harriet: Run Me My Money
Ya’ll I am mad. Big mad! Let me tell you why… A few years ago my boo, President Barack Obama decreed that Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill in 2020. Women around the nation rejoiced because the re-branding of the money coincided with the anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement. Black women rejoiced because, well… because it was damn time. But time stood still when it was announced that Harriet’s just do has been delayed.
Let me set the stage for you… During a recent congressional hearing, Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts who is full of black girl magic herself asked Treasury Secretary Mnuchin about the status of the $20. Well, his answer was basically full of “nah, sis, it ain’t happening.” Claims of monetary security and what not but I got a dollar in my purse and it seems secure to me so I am calling BS.
So I am angry. Here’s why… I am tired of Black women being told to wait. To hold on. To be patient. I am tired of waiting. Because waiting never pans out for us. Ever. Like Andre 3000 said “ever ever? Ever ever.”
Black women are the backbone of the community. Organizing, frying chicken, leading voter registration drives, making sure everyone is taken care of but rarely do we get a place on the stage or program. We are told to hold on, that our time is coming. We are told that the time isn’t right for us or that the people are not ready for a leader like us. But what it really means is that they aren’t ready to share the stage, to pass the mic, to acknowledge our contributions. And while I don’t know why we don’t have more allies, I do know this… We have to continue celebrating ourselves. We have to keep applauding each other, keep recognizing the Black Girl Magic in our sisters. We have to continue to seek out, support, and create safe spaces for us to just be and breathe. And we have to stop waiting. We have to raise our voices and make our needs known. We have to stop waiting for someone to notice our hard work and start tooting our own horns.
So I’m not waiting. I am not waiting on Harriet to be on the $20. I am not waiting for someone to hand me a mic. I’m going to walk in what is mine right now, and I hope you do the same.