“There should be a fear of us moving towards a full blown authoritarian state. We shouldn’t be under the illusion that it’s never happened here and that there’s no experience of people not having democratic rights. It absolutely has happened. So, how do we combat and mobilize around preventing the country from going further and further down that road?”Dr. Clarence Lusane
In Twenty Dollars and Change, Lusane offers a searing examination of what the fight to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill reveals about race, class, and social justice in America today.
In this episode, Lissa Jones talks with Dr. Clarence Lusane about the importance of symbolism, the movement that emerged in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and how Harriet Tubman represents the demand for gender equity, racial justice, and the struggle of people working for social inclusion and economic fairness.
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MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
In Twenty Dollars and Change, Lusane offers a searing examination of what the fight to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill reveals about race, class, and social justice in America today. Lusane gives voice to the millions of Americans who mobilized for the “Tubman twenty,” becoming a part of the long legacy of people of color and women challenging symbols of patriarchy, racism, and white supremacy.
Lusane argues that while Andrew Jackson’s image represents a flawed vision of democracy that tolerates white supremacy, Harriet Tubman’s represents the demand for gender equity, racial justice, and the struggle of people working for social inclusion and economic fairness. With insight and urgency, Lusane explains how national symbols in support of social justice serve to unify and strengthen us as a people.
Clarence Lusane is a Professor and former Chairman of Howard University’s Department of Political Science. For more than forty 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 such as education, criminal justice, and drug policy. He has served as a political consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and many elected officials. He is also a former Commissioner on the DC Commission on African American Affairs. His most recent book, The Black History of the White House, received praise from The Washington Post, NPR’s Morning Edition, USA Todayand The Boston Globe, among others. Dr. Lusane was also recently interviewed on The Scholars.
City Lights Publisher, 2012
More about Harriet Tubman
Storyteller Janice Greene brings the story of Harriet Tubman to life in this excerpt (skip ahead to 1:08:30) from the 29th Annual Black Master Story Tellers Festival produced by Black Storytellers Alliance.