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  #1  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:03 AM
mr s mr s is offline
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black man on back of two dollar bill

Hello all,

Searched on the web and cannot believe I haven't found any reliable sites on this question. I would like to bring this up with a high school history class I teach, but I want to find out the facts.

On the back of the $2 bill, there is a picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Sitting towards the left is what looks like a black man. I've heard two explanations for this:

1) On a site run by Dick Gregory, he claims this is John Hanson, the first President of the Congress under the Articles of Confederation. Wikipedia debunks this myth, as it says that Hanson was white (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hanson_%28myths%29).

2) Another teacher told me that when the bicentennial $2 bill was created in 1976, the govt decided to play lip service to civil rights by including a black man in the picture, but that no black men were really present. Sounds more believable to me, but I havent found any confirmation.

I apologize if this has been taken up already; I don't have search capability on these boards yet. But if there is a link you could point me to, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks very much,

Mr. S
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:06 AM
Danalan Danalan is offline
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Correct Link.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:07 AM
Enola Straight Enola Straight is offline
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http://www.silver-eagle-coins.com/Images/2003TWO.jpg
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:33 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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I had a look at the website of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

While it doesn't comment on the figures on the $2 note, this section says that there are "no images of African-Americans printed on U.S. currency."
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:56 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Or, there's
3) There's no black man in that image, some folks just think there is one

Frankly, they all look green to me. And at that level of detail, I don't think one could reliably distinguish any of the other characteristics which could differentiate between races.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2005, 01:17 AM
Eleusis Eleusis is offline
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Here's the painting it was taken from. I don't see any black people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator
While it doesn't comment on the figures on the $2 note, this section says that there are "no images of African-Americans printed on U.S. currency."
Well there's Susan B. Anthony but I guess that's not "printed".
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2005, 01:20 AM
Eleusis Eleusis is offline
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Wait a minute.... Susan B. Anthony wasn't black? I'll be damned.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2005, 01:56 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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It'd be just like Whitey to put a black man on a small bill nobody uses. But in this case, I guess Whitey outdid himself by not putting a black man on a dollar bill at all.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:18 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
It'd be just like Whitey to put a black man on a small bill nobody uses. But in this case, I guess Whitey outdid himself by not putting a black man on a dollar bill at all.
Actually, as a matter of fact, Frederick Douglas was on the face of a $10,000 note issued for private bank transfers between 1919 and 1929.

Oh, right, like you know for certain, offhand, that I'm lying.
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2005, 02:33 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchoth
Actually, as a matter of fact, Frederick Douglas was on the face of a $10,000 note issued for private bank transfers between 1919 and 1929.
Ah, that's different then. They put a black man on a large bill nobody uses!
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2005, 02:52 AM
TellMeI'mNotCrazy TellMeI'mNotCrazy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleusis
Wait a minute.... Susan B. Anthony wasn't black? I'll be damned.
And here I was thinking, "Susan B Anthony wasn't white? I'll be damned!"
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2005, 05:40 AM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchoth
Actually, as a matter of fact, Frederick Douglas was on the face of a $10,000 note issued for private bank transfers between 1919 and 1929.

Oh, right, like you know for certain, offhand, that I'm lying.
As a matter of fact, I do
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2005, 11:34 AM
JerH JerH is offline
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On the $2 bill, there does appear to be a person whose skin is darker - it's the 4th seated man from the left in the front row. However, when comparing it to the original painting(thanks, Eleusis), it appears that the man is in shadow, not actually dark-skinned. In short, he appears black because of the limitations of transferring a color painting to a small green and white printing.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:10 PM
Folly Folly is online now
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I happen to carry a 2 dollar bill around in my wallet, and I think the shadow assumption is correct. Especially since the person seated to the right of him seems to be half in shadow.
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:21 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
Frankly, they all look green to me.
The Declaration of Independence was signed by green men????

Oy! ;j Harry Cox was right! Everything you know is wrong!
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2005, 12:58 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
The Declaration of Independence was signed by green men????

Oy! ;j Harry Cox was right! Everything you know is wrong!
It's the Alien Lizard People. Knew it all along.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2005, 02:56 PM
Jman Jman is offline
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Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

But, on first examination, they all look white to me. I guess I can see the shadow area being confusing.....
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2005, 08:20 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folly
I happen to carry a 2 dollar bill around in my wallet
HEY! You just sparked my memory! I remember when I was a kid older people would carry a $2 bill hidden in their wallet. Any idea where that trend originated?
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2005, 10:05 PM
xash xash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
It'd be just like Whitey to put a black man on a small bill nobody uses. But in this case, I guess Whitey outdid himself by not putting a black man on a dollar bill at all.
Marley23, your comments are not appreciated in GQ. Please do not repeat this.

-xash
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2005, 10:30 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xash
Marley23, your comments are not appreciated in GQ. Please do not repeat this.
Xash, I'm not going to get into it, but even if it's not funny, show some recognition when someone is kidding. I'm pretty sure that's allowed in GQ.
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  #21  
Old 10-05-2005, 12:01 AM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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No kidding! I don't think I've ever spoken up WRT a mod action before, but a confused gasp escaped my lips when I read Xash's post. Marley23's comment gave me a good laugh, which is appreciated in by me in any forum!

Sorry, Xash, but I think you blew this one.
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2005, 02:23 AM
xash xash is offline
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Marley23, perhaps I did not get your humour. I did not issue a warning because I understood that you meant it in jest. Therefore I issued just a note and a request.

However, because humour of such nature is often subjective, we discourage it in GQ.

Hope you understand. If you wish to discuss this further, feel free to start a thread in the BBQ Pit.

-xash
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