OneUnited Bank just released a limited edition Visa debit card, featuring the important historical figure, Harriet Tubman.
The inclusion itself is a thoughtful gesture, but when people started pointing out that Tubman looks like she's doing the "Wakanda Forever!" salute from Marvel's Black Panther, things got awkward.
OneUnited Bank tweeted the release of the new Harriet Tubman card on February 13, stating the card is meant as a symbol of Black empowerment. On the face of the card is an artistic rendition of Tubman with her arms crossed over her chest.
But because of the positioning of her arms—and more importantly her hands—people immediately started joking about her involvement in Wakanda.
People were quick with their responses, some sharing their intentions for the card.
Others were convinced this had to be a mashup of Harriet Tubman and Black Panther somehow.
As the tweets continued to pour in, OneUnited Bank tried to explain the message they were going for, which had nothing to do with Marvel Studios.
The comments and jokes continued to pour in, however, focusing on the ways in which the artistic rendition didn't actually mirror the sign language symbol for "love."
Some were upset by the misuse of the "love" symbol, if that was actually what OneUnited Bank intended the card to communicate.
They explained patiently what the proper arm and hand positioning should be, and some went so far as to suggest a reprint before officially offering the card to the public.
Others focused instead on cultural appropriation, for those represented by Harriet Tubman, those indirectly represented by Wakanda, and those of the deaf community who would not recognize the "love" sign in its current presentation.
OneUnited Bank probably had their heart in the right place.
They selected a hugely important political and historical figure for their limited edition card run. They also wanted to include an important message that all who used or received the card would have the opportunity to see.
Whether they decide to amend the artwork before doing a full print run remains to be seen, but between the discussions of cultural appropriation and the unending supply of Wakanda jokes, the controversy is surely far from over.