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Maya Angelou Now First Black Woman To Appear On A Quarter, Joins First U.S President

Maya Angelou Now First Black Woman To Appear On A Quarter Joins First US President

Maya Angelou, a poet, and human rights activist, will be featured alongside the first president of the United States on a limited quantity of quarters set to be released in 2022. Not only will the acclaimed author be the first Black person to appear on a quarter-dollar coin, but she will also be the first person to do so outside of George Washington.

The United States Mint has begun to integrate the Angelou quarters into the American public, according to Politico.

“Each time we redesign our money, we have the potential to say something about our country – what we value, and how we’ve grown as a society,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. I’m thrilled that these coins honor the achievements of some of America’s most inspiring women, including Maya Angelou.”


The United States Treasury Department announced that this coin, which was approved by Public Law 116-330, is the first in its American Women Quarters Program and is being produced at the country’s Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver.

The department, which was formed by Alexander Hamilton, will announce 15 more honorees over the next three years (five per year), with the last announcement in 2025.

In a news statement, Mint deputy director Ventris C. Gibson said, “It is my delight to offer our Nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to honoring American women and their contributions to American history.”

“Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the range and depth of achievements recognized throughout this historic coin program,” Gibson added. “On the reverse of this first coin in the series, Maya Angelou utilized words to encourage and uplift.”


Washington will continue to be on the heads side, while Angelou will be on the tails. Emily Damstra of the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program created the new coin’s face, which was sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell.

Angelou, who shares the same sorority as Vice President Kamala Harris, is depicted in the new logo with her arms raised to the heavens and a bird flying behind her.

In the awe-striking shot, a rising sun can also be seen gleaming.

The poet, whom Oprah Winfrey has referred to as a mentor, will have her name engraved on the coin in capital letters. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR” are the other phrases on the coins.


“As a leader in the civil rights movement, poet laureate, college professor, Broadway actor, dancer, and the first female African American cable car operator in San Francisco, Maya Angelou’s intelligence and creativity inspired generations of Americans,” stated Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA).

“I will always treasure the intimate moments I had the honor of sharing with Maya, from talking in her living room as sisters to her important guidance during the hurdles I encountered as a Black woman in public office,” she continued.

“I am honored to have led this campaign to commemorate these extraordinary women, who are frequently neglected in our country’s historical narrative.” May you be reminded of Maya Angelou’s words if you find yourself holding a Maya Angelou quarter: ‘be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.’”

Dr. Sally Ride, a physicist, and the first woman astronaut; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief and an activist for Native American and women’s rights; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, are among the other honorees set to be released in 2022.


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