Late poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has made history, becoming the first black woman to appear on a US quarter coin in history
The new coin was announced by the US Mint as part of the American Women Quarters Program, which is designed to feature prominent American women on coins.
The others are set to follow this year till 2025.
US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yallen speaking on the landmark achievement said, “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,”
“I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.”
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The new coin still features George Washington’s face on the “heads” side, while the “tails” side honours Angelou by evoking one of her most famous works, the autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
The US Mint called on the public to submit names of women they view as American icons. The bureau welcomed entries of women known for their work in civil rights, science and the arts, among other areas, with an emphasis on women from “ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds.”
The only condition was that they must be deceased.
The other women set to be featured on four other quarter coins are Sally Ride, an astronaut who was the first American woman in space; Asian American actress Anna May Wong; Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller and suffragette and politician Nina Otero-Warren.