Special Harriet Tubman Visa Debit Card Sparks ‘Wakanda Forever’-Themed Backlash

Abolitionist hero doesn’t quite look like herself

Last Updated: February 13, 2020 @ 6:10 PM

The largest Black-owned bank in America paid tribute Thursday to abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman with a new Visa debit card bearing her likeness. Unfortunately, the tribute provoked much head-scratching and a lot of mockery, thanks to what looked like an attempt to connect the antislavery icon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The new card, from OneUnited Bank, shows an image of Tubman as she’s popularly portrayed: Wearing her trademark headscarf with a look of fierce determination on her face. The twist? She’s also holding up her arms to make an extremely familiar-looking X shape.

Now, as far as photographic evidence goes it’s a gesture Tubman never actually made when she was alive. But it does look an awful lot like the sign immortalized as the national salute of Wakanda in 2018’s “Black Panther.” Here, see for yourself:

harriet tubman visa wakanda forever

OneUnited Bank

If your first thought upon seeing that was “Wakanda Forever,” you’re not alone. A ton of people had the exact same thought after OneUnited Bank tweeted the image out and weren’t shy in sharing it, including “Desus and Mero” star The Kid Mero, who joked “FAM NOT THE WAKANDA SALUTE TOO.”

“Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than Harriet Tubman hitting the Wakanda salute on debit cards,” said author Frederick Joseph.

“Wait they got her in the Wakanda Forever pose too?!?! Fail on fail on fail,” said one user.

“Is this acct handle run secretly by the @TheOnion cause this can be for real can it,” said another.

And that’s not even getting into the dozens of gifs and images expressing derision. Tubman is still an Icon, but the debit card image, as it turns out, notsomuch.

See some reactions below:

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