Tennessee

Tubman replacing Jackson on the $20 a deeply symbolic move

  • A statue of Harriett Tubman is the centerpiece of the History Gallery at the Tubman Museum, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Macon, Ga. Tubman, a prominent anti-slavery activist, will be the first African-American to appear on an American banknote and the first woman to appear on one in a century. Her portrait will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who will be moved to the back of the redesigned $20 bill. Ezzell and Beverly Hart Pittman from Columbia, SC, visit the museum Wednesday afternoon. (Woody Marshall/The Telegraph via AP

    A statue of Harriett Tubman is the centerpiece of the History Gallery at the Tubman Museum, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Macon, Ga. Tubman, a prominent anti-slavery activist, will be the first African-American to appear on an American banknote and the first woman to appear on one in a century. Her portrait will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who will be moved to the back of the redesigned $20 bill. Ezzell and Beverly Hart Pittman from Columbia, SC, visit the museum Wednesday afternoon. (Woody Marshall/The Telegraph via AP  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This April 17, 2015, file photo provided by the U.S. Treasury shows the front of the U.S. $20 bill, featuring a likeness of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States. A Treasury official said Wednesday, April 20, 2016, that Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years. (U.S. Treasury via AP, File)

    FILE - This April 17, 2015, file photo provided by the U.S. Treasury shows the front of the U.S. $20 bill, featuring a likeness of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States. A Treasury official said Wednesday, April 20, 2016, that Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years. (U.S. Treasury via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of Harriett Tubman is the centerpiece of the History Gallery at the Tubman Museum, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Macon, Ga. Tubman, a prominent anti-slavery activist, will be the first African-American to appear on an American banknote and the first woman to appear on one in a century. Her portrait will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who will be moved to the back of the redesigned $20 bill. Ezzell and Beverly Hart Pittman from Columbia, SC, visit the museum Wednesday afternoon. (Woody Marshall/The Telegraph via AP

    A statue of Harriett Tubman is the centerpiece of the History Gallery at the Tubman Museum, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in Macon, Ga. Tubman, a prominent anti-slavery activist, will be the first African-American to appear on an American banknote and the first woman to appear on one in a century. Her portrait will replace former President Andrew Jackson, who will be moved to the back of the redesigned $20 bill. Ezzell and Beverly Hart Pittman from Columbia, SC, visit the museum Wednesday afternoon. (Woody Marshall/The Telegraph via AP  (The Associated Press)

The choice to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is being praised for its symbolism. Many say it's a powerful change that a slave-owning president who forced Native Americans from their lands is being succeeded by an African-American abolitionist who risked her life to free others.

It comes on the heels of other, often emotional debates about the symbols we choose to honor, like the one over removing the Confederate flag and statues from public life in many places in the South.

Not everyone wants to see Jackson moved. They celebrate him for his role as general during the War of 1812 and for his life as a self-made, everyday man who reached the pinnacle of power.