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OneUnited Bank decided to do what the U.S. Treasury has talked about doing — putting Harriet Tubman’s image on a way to pay.
Limited-edition Harriet Tubman Visa debit cards got introduced this month by OneUnited and will be available throughout the year. The cards use Tubman’s image from “The Conqueror,” a painting by Miami artist Addonis Parker, who also painted the 2015 mural outside OneUnited, 3275 NW 79th St., in North Miami-Dade.
“She’s posing with the sign language of love and we need black love within the community and the world,” said OneUnited President and Chief Operating Officer Teri Williams.
Tubman was a former slave best known for being a major leader of the Underground Railroad, which guided escaped slaves to freedom. But she also worked as a Civil War spy and did so after suffering a serious head injury in her youth.
“She’s important, but [the card] says something more than that,” Williams said. “Black dollars are important. It’s the 1619 message — we built America and are an important part of American history.”
Over the last several years, OneUnited has thrown itself behind #BankBlack, #BuyBlack and voting accessibility and participation movements.
The U.S. Treasury said in April 2016 that Tubman would replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill in April 2016, but that has yet to materialize.
“The delay in the $20 bill prompted us to say we should do something,” Williams said. “Putting her on a global payment instrument is something we can do as the largest black-owned bank in the nation.”