Despite the heavy criticism upon its initial release, OneUnited Bank’s limited edition Harriet Tubman debit card has been a massive success for the institution. When it was first premiered the bank’s social media accounts, people thought that the image of Harriet Tubman was throwing up the “Wakanda Forever” sign. However, that wasn’t the case at all and the bank has debunked the narrative in a recent interview with CNN.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The debit card was originally inspired by Barack Obama’s decision to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill with the world-renowned American heroin in 2016. The painting of Harriet Tubman with arms folded into her chest entitled “The Conquerer” was completed in 2016 by Miami-based artist Addonis Parker, two years prior to the release of Black Panther (2018). However, that didn’t stop Twitter from coming at OneUnited’s new-look debit card. Check out some of the Tweets taking shots at the card below:
The release of the card increased the volume of account sign-ups by approximately ten percent and prompted existing customers to request that they switch their cards to the new design. This one card has influenced a new wave of bank-seekers to take their talents to OneUnited, similar to the response the bank received in 2016 when Killer Mike was urging the culture to #BankBlack.
OneUnited Bank’s COO, Teri Williams cleared the air about the mixup by revealing that Harriet Tubman was actually throwing up the sign language gesture for love stating:
“It is the actual American Sign Language gesture for love. Wakanda also got it from that. It really does all start with black love, which is a good place to start on Valentine’s Day. It’s important to love ourselves, love our history and recognize we’re much further along in our journey than people would like us to believe.”
Williams also debunked the Twitter myth that a white executive thought of the idea for the card stating that OneUnited Bank is “unapologetically black.” If you’re interested in banking with America’s largest black-owned bank, you can do so, here. Check out OneUnited Bank’s Harriet Tubman card in all of its glory in the photo provided below.