An Exhibition Featuring Black Icons And Historic Events On U.S. Currency
The For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition celebrates Black history icons, seminal historic events and institutions whose significant contributions to American and Black history have been recognized by law through commemoration on United States currency in the form of commemorative coins, medals and medallions:
- Commemorative coins, medals and medallions are authorized by legislation passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the sitting President of the United States
- 43 commemorative coins, bronze medals, bronze Presidential medals and gold medallions featuring Black history icons, seminal historic events and iconic institutions have been produced by law to date
- Commemorative bronze medals feature people and events awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards bestowed by the United States government
- Since 1978, 20 Congressional Gold Medals that honor notable Black People, seminal historic events and iconic institutions have been awarded and reproduced on commemorative bronze medals in recognition of their historic contributions to American and Black history
- Commemorative Presidential bronze medals are presented to the President Of The United States for each term served at the conclusion of their Presidency
- President Barack Obama was honored with two Presidential bronze medals commemorating his two terms as the first Black President Of The United States
- Commemorative coins, medals and medallions are designed and produced by the United States Mint
To be featured on currency is one of the nation’s highest honors. Positive representation of free Black people on commemorative currency is one of earliest and only forms of public recognition of Black excellence, contribution and value. Enshrined in law, commemorative currency represents indelible milestones in the centuries-long struggle of Black people to achieve equality and justice. In a time when some want to diminish, re-write and erase key aspects of Black history, commemorative legislation and currency are invaluable artifacts that help to accurately document the Black experience in the United States.
The anti-slavery tokens, commemorative coins, concept coins, bronze medals, Presidential bronze medals and gold medallions featured in this exhibition represent an extensive Black history timeline spanning from the arrival of Africans at Jamestown, Virginia and participation of Black Patriots in the Revolutionary War to over a century of Black historical achievement, from Post-Reconstruction, to the Civil Rights Era, to the election and re-election of the first Black President of the United States.
For The Love Of Money delivers a unique and engaging Black history experience through the presentation of 45 anti-slavery tokens, commemorative coins, concept coins, bronze medals, Presidential bronze medals and gold medallions from the Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection that showcase 37 Black history icons, 13 seminal events and 6 iconic institutions:
- Am I Not A Man Anti-Slavery Token (1837)
- Am I Not A Woman Anti-Slavery Token (1838)
- Booker T. Washington Silver Half Dollar (1946)
- George Washington Carver / Booker T. Washington Silver Half Dollar (1951)
- Marian Anderson Bronze Medal (1978)
- Marian Anderson Gold Medallion (1980)
- Joe Louis Bronze Medal (1982)
- Louis Armstrong Gold Medallion (1982)
- Roy Wilkins Bronze Medal (1984)
- Jesse Owens Bronze Medal (1988)
- General Colin Powell Bronze Medal (1991)
- Jackie Robinson $5.00 Gold Coin (1997)
- Jackie Robinson Silver Dollar (1997)
- Bessie Coleman Brass Concept Coin (1998)
- Bessie Coleman Silver Concept Coin (1998)
- Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar (1998)
- Nelson Mandela Bronze Medal (1998)
- Rosa Parks Bronze Medal (1999)
- Little Rock Nine Bronze Medal (1999)
- New Jersey State Quarter (1999)
- Missouri State Quarter (2003)
- Dr. Dorothy Height Bronze Medal (2004)
- Brown v. Board Of Education Bronze Medal (2004)
- Jackie Robinson Bronze Medal (2005)
- Tuskegee Airmen Bronze Medal (2007)
- Jamestown 400th Anniversary Silver Dollar (2007)
- Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar (2007)
- Senator Edward William Brooke III Bronze Medal (2008)
- District Of Columbia Quarter (2009)
- Montford Point Marines Bronze Medal (2011)
- Girl Scouts Centennial Silver Dollar (2013)
- 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Victims Bronze Medal (2013)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. / Coretta Scott King Bronze Medal (2013)
- Civil Rights Act Of 1964 Silver Dollar (2014)
- American Fighter Aces Bronze Medal (2014)
- Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Bronze Medal (2014)
- Selma To Montgomery Marches Bronze Medal (2015)
- Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park Quarter (2016)
- Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter (2017)
- President Barack Obama Presidential Bronze Medal – First Term (2017)
- President Barack Obama Presidential Bronze Medal – Second Term (2017)
- American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin (2017)
- American Liberty 225th Anniversary Silver Medal (2017)
- American Liberty Gold Proof Coin (2018)
- Office Of Strategic Services (OSS) Bronze Medal (2018)
For The Love Of Money honors barrier breaking Black athletes, entertainers, civil rights leaders and politicians.
For The Love Of Money also features the historic contributions of several prominent Black Women, including Marian Anderson, Bessie Coleman, Dr. Dorothy Height, Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks.
For The Love Of Money highlights Black Military Leaders, Icons and Institutions, including prominent Black history icons who served in the military and seminal Civil Rights events that were facilitated by military protection.
For The Love Of Money is culturally and historically relevant to the Black community, but also has broad appeal.
For The Love Of Money is appropriate for adults, families with children, school trips, college students and cuts across ethnic, gender and generational lines.
For The Love Of Money educates about the legislative and U.S. Mint processes for producing commemorative currency.
For The Love Of Money will continue to gain cultural relevance and popularity due to addition of the first free Black people on circulating U.S. paper currency in 2020:
- Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20.00 bill
- Sojourner Truth on the back of the new $10.00 bill
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Marian Anderson on the back of the new $5.00 bill
For The Love Of Money will tour to museums, libraries, schools, colleges and universities and other cultural institutions.
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Firsts
The pioneering Black history icons and historic events featured on United States commemorative currency in the For The Love Of Money exhibition represent several American and Black History firsts, including:
- First free Black person to appear on a commemorative coin and thus on United States currency – Booker T. Washington (1946)
- First free Black men to appear on a commemorative coin and thus on United States currency, only Black people featured on a commemorative silver half dollar coin – Booker T. Washington / George Washington Carver (1951)
- First Black artist whose work was produced by the United States Mint on the Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver / Booker T. Washington silver half dollar coins – Isaac Scott Hathaway (1946-1951)
- First Black person and Black woman to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – Marian Anderson (1978)
- First Black person and only Black woman to appear on a United States Commemorative Gold Medallion – Marian Anderson (1980)
- First Black man and Black athlete awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – Joe Louis (1982)
- First Black Man to appear on a United States Commemorative Gold Medallion – Louis Armstrong (1982)
- First Black Civil Rights Leader to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – Roy Wilkins (1984)
- First Black Military Leader to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – General Colin Powell (1991)
- First major league athlete and only Black person specifically honored on a commemorative $5.00 gold coin, as well as the first major league athlete and first Black person honored on a commemorative silver dollar coin – Jackie Robinson (1997)
- First South African to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – Nelson Mandela (1998)
- First Black person and first Black musician to be prominently featured on a coin authorized for circulation – Duke Ellington (2009)
- First Black President to sign commemorative coin legislation into law – President Barack Obama (2009)
- First Black President to sign commemorative medal legislation into law – President Barack Obama (2011)
- First Black Presidential administration to authorize the addition of free Black people on circulating U.S. paper currency – President Barack Obama (2016)
- First Black President to be commemorated on two Presidential bronze medals and subsequently featured on a replica Commemorative Presidential Bronze Medal – President Barack Obama (2017)
- First Black Historic Site to be commemorated on United States Currency and prominently featured on a coin authorized for circulation – Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter (2017)
- First Black Woman depicted as Lady Liberty on United States Currency – American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Gold Proof Coin and Silver Medal (2017 / 2018)
- First Black Intelligence Professional to be honored by a Congressional Gold Medal and replica Commemorative Bronze Medal – Office Of Strategic Services (OSS) Bronze Medal – Ralph Bunche (2018)
Several of these Black icons have received other top national and International honors such as the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, Presidential Citizens Medal, portraits on US Postage Stamps and the Nobel Peace Prize.
Many Black institutions and places of historic importance have also been designated as national monuments and national historic sites.
For The Love Of Money also captures the lawmakers, including Black Congresspeople and Senators, who initiated and sponsored commemorative legislation.
Among this group is Congressman John Lewis, the only Black person to sponsor commemorative legislation honoring participants in the Civil Rights Movement and be honored by commemorative legislation for his role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Other Black lawmakers noted as initiators and sponsors of commemorative legislation in the exhibition are:
- Congresswoman Corrine Brown
- Congresswoman Julia Carson
- Congressman James Clyburn
- Congressman Walter Fauntroy
- Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
- Congressman Donald Payne
- Congressman Charles Rangel
- Congresswoman Terri Sewell
- Congressman Louis Stokes
- Congressman Bennie Thompson
- Congresswoman Diane Watson
- Senator Carol Moseley-Braun
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Anti-Slavery Tokens, Commemorative Coins, Medals And Medallions Images
You can see images below.
- Many of the coins in the Museum Of UnCut Funk collection are proofs, which are early samples of coin issues that are traditionally used to check that the dies are correct and for the archival preservation of each issue. Today, proofs are also struck in greater quantities to be purchased by coin collectors.
- Some proof coins with silver mirror surfaces photograph as brown or black due to the way they reflect light.
- “Obverse” refers to the front of a coin, medal or medallion and “reverse” refers to the back.
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition Tour Schedule
- August 28 – September 28, 2016 – Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site – Little Rock, Arkansas
- February 1 – February 28, 2017 – Brown v. Board Of Education National Historic Site – Topeka, Kansas
- January 31, 2017 – January 15, 2018 – Museum Of American Finance – New York, New York
- January 15 – February 9, 2018 – The Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank Of Kansas City – Denver, Colorado
- February 19 – March 15, 2018 – The Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank Of Kansas City – Kansas City, Missouri
Museum Of American Finance
Museum Of UnCut Funk Curators attended the official exhibition opening and press conference at the Museum Of American Finance (MOAF) on Wall Street in New York.
MOAF is a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Curator Pamela Thomas (aka Sista ToFunky) spoke with Roger Clark of NY1 and did two live segments to promote the exhibition.
Curator Loreen Williamson spoke to the press about what the exhibition means to her and why it is historically important.
The Museum Of UnCut Funk worked with MOAF staff to create a custom installation with a layout and colors that worked best in their historic building and fit their exhibition display units. The exhibition information was printed on fabric panels. The commemorative objects are displayed in museum cases.
Photographer Credit: Alan Barnett
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition Additional Media Coverage
- Coin Week – http://www.coinweek.com/education/museums-exhibits/museum-of-american-finance-opens-new-exhibit-for-the-love-of-money-blacks-on-us-currency/
- Coins Weekly – http://www.coinsweekly.com/en/News/MoAF-opens-exhibition-on-Blacks-on-US-Currency/4?&id=4627
- Liz Daly’s Culture Digest – http://www.lizdalyculturedigest.com/2017/03/black-history-in-us-currency/
- Manhattan Times – http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/money-loveamor-al-dinero/
- New York History Blog – http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2017/02/22/blacks-on-us-currency-exhibit-at-museum-of-american-finance/
- NY1 – http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2017/02/22/manhattan-exhibit-highlights-black-americans-on-u-s–currency.html
- New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/nyregion/the-museum-of-uncut-funk.html
- The Undefeated – https://theundefeated.com/features/lady-liberty-is-a-black-woman-and-joe-louis-jackie-robinson-and-jesse-owens-get-commemorated-in-coin-too/?ex_cid=tutwitter
- Untapped Cities – http://untappedcities.com/2017/02/27/12-art-installations-and-exhibits-in-nyc-not-to-miss-march-2017/
- Welcome To Harlem – https://welcometoharlem.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/for-the-love-of-money-blacks-on-us-currency/
- Yahoo Finance – http://finance.yahoo.com/news/museum-american-finance-open-exhibit-135900006.html
To learn more about the commemorative coins, medals and medallions featured in the For The Love Of Money Exhibition you can read the three part series on African Americans On U.S. Coins written by Charles Morgan, Editor at CoinWeek.com and check out the podcast that the Museum Of UnCut Funk curators did with Charles Morgan on our website at the following links:
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition Specs
The For The Love Of Money exhibition includes front and back images of 45 Anti-Slavery Tokens, Commemorative Coins, Medals, Presidential Medals, Medallions:
- Anti-Slavery Tokens: 2
- Commemorative Coins: 16
- Concept Coins: 2
- Commemorative Medals: 21
- Commemorative Presidential Medals: 2
- Commemorative Medallions: 2
Actual Anti-Slavery Tokens, Commemorative Coins, Medals, Presidential Medals, Medallions are available for display with some exhibition configurations.
Exhibition material options:
- Custom installation printed on fabric wall mural material, produced to wrap museum display units or adhere to museum walls, including text, front and back images of 45 Commemorative Coins, Concept Coins, Commemorative Medals, Commemorative Presidential Medals and Commemorative Medallions, graphics
- Custom installation also includes the 45 actual Anti-Slave Tokens, Commemorative Coins, Concept Coins, Commemorative Medals, Commemorative Presidential Medals and Commemorative Medallions
- Objects can be displayed in secure museum cases or provided in black tamper proof rounded security edge frames to be installed on walls
- White banner panels with snap clip holders
Exhibition configuration options:
- Custom installation – TBD
- White banner panels with snap clip holders:
- 60 – 48×24 panels – Tokens / Coins / Medals / Medallions
- 27 – 48×24 panels – Tokens / Coins
- 39 – 48×24 panels – Medals / Medallions
Approximate space required:
- Custom installation – TBD
- White banner panels with snap clip holders:
- 60 panels – 147 running feet
- 27 panels – 65 running feet
- 39 panels – 90 running feet
Curators are available for appearances, lectures, panel discussions, etc.. for an additional speaking fee.
For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition Additional Information
For more information and rental fees or to book the For The Love Of Money: Blacks On U.S. Currency Exhibition please contact the Curator, Sista ToFunky.
Curators are available for Curator’s Talks, Curated Tours, Expert Panels, Lectures. For more information or to book the Curators please contact the Curator, Sista ToFunky.