Angelou becomes first Black woman to appear on US coin
Poet and activist Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to appear on the US quarter, in a new version of the coin unveiled by the U.S. Mint on Jan. 10.
Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” will also be the first figure commemorated through the American Women Quarters Program, which was signed into law in January 2021.
The U.S. Mint “has begun shipping the first coins” with Angelou’s likeness on the American quarter, a 25-cent piece, according to a press release from the agency.
“It is my honor to present our nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson.
The program directs the U.S. Mint to issue quarters each year between 2022 and 2025 featuring five different female trailblazers who have contributed to the country.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was “proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women.”
The quarter has for the last 90 years shown the nation’s first president, George Washington, on one side and an eagle on the other.
The new quarters show Washington on one side and Angelou on the other.
The other figures set to appear on the coin in 2022 are: Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Nina Otero-Warren, a New Mexico suffrage leader and Anna May Wong, a Chinese American film star.