June 23, 2024
Image shows a design on Maya Angelou on the back of the U.S. quarter.

Maya Angelou becomes first black woman on quarter

The U.S. Mint announced on Monday that celebrated writer and poet, Maya Angelou, is now featured on the US quarter. 

According to the U.S. Mint, “These circulating quarters honoring Maya Angelou are manufactured at the Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver. Coins featuring additional honorees will begin shipping later this year and through 2025.”

Angelou is featured on the “tails” side of the coin while George Washington still remains on the “heads” side. Angelou is depicted on the quarter as a young woman with her arms spread featuring a bird and sunrise in the background.

The image pays homage to two of Angelou’s famous poems, “Caged Bird” and “Still I Rise.” Both poems are arguably Maya Angelou’s best works. 

Some lawmakers took to social media to praise the new quarter featuring Angelou.

“The phenomenal women who shaped American history have gone unrecognized for too long — especially women of color,”  said California Democrat, Rep. Barbra Lee. “Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies.”

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty even said on Twitter. “In 2022 Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to grace an American quarter. Who’s ready for the #TubmanTwenty?”

The U.S. Mint also released a statement regarding Angelou’s feature on the quarter. “If you find yourself holding a Maya Angelou quarter, may you be reminded of her words, ‘Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.’”

Maya Angelou is the first Black woman to be featured on the US quarter. Although quarters featuring Angelou are the first of many that are set to be rolled out later this year and will continue into 2025.
According to the Washington Post, other women that are rumored to be featured on quarters in the future could include Anna May Wong, who is known to be the first Chinese-American movie star, and Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly to space.

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