Tue, May

Maya Angelou Becomes First Black Woman On US Coin

US & Canada News

The United States has on Monday unveiled a new US quarter coin, featuring late poet and activist, Maya Angelou, making her the first Black woman to appear on the US coin. The Maya Angelou quarter is the first in the American Women Quarters Program, which includes featuring prominent women in American history. The Mint Deputy Director, Ventris Gibson noted that other quarters in the new series will be rolled out later in the year and through 2025, adding that “It is my honor to present our nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,”

“Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program. Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”

The new Maya quarter still features George Washington on the "heads" and Angelou visage on the "tails" side of the coin, honouring her famous autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings".

Speaking, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was “proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women.”

“Each time we redesign our currency, we have the chance to say something about our country — what we value, and how we’ve progressed as a society,” she added.

Other figures set to appear on the coin include 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.