Maya Angelou, the late poet and civil rights activist who died in 2014 at the age of 86, is the first Black woman to be featured on a United States quarter. The United States Mint announced on Monday that the new quarter, part of the American Women Quarters Program, has begun shipping.
As a result of this historic occurrence, she is the first Black woman to feature on a coin.
“In celebration of Women Equality Day, we recognize the women who persevered through adversity, helping shape and redefine the United States of America. We are proud to celebrate the trailblazers whose achievements, triumphs and legacies reflect the strength and resilience of our Nation, ” the United States Mint wrote on its official Instagram page.
Maya Angelou’s quarter is one of four coins highlighting American women of historical significance that will be available for purchase until 2025. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, Anna May Wong, the pioneering Asian film star, Wilma Mankiller, activist and the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief, and Nina Otero-Warren, author, educator, and advocate for women’s suffrage in the United States are among the other honorees.
Following the announcement by the US Mint, Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson expressed her respect for Angelou and the importance of recognizing the lives and achievements of these exceptional women in American history. “We, at the United States Mint, are humbled to honor the women who have shaped our nation’s history and their contributions,” she wrote. “Maya Angelou is the first to be featured as part of the American Women Quarters Program series. The design and issuance of the Maya Angelou quarter reflects the breadth and depth of the accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic program. She was indeed a phenomenal woman!”
n 2021, she made history when she was honored with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll to celebrate her activism and career accomplishments. It was part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women collection series.
DATE PUBLISHED: January 12, 2022