2 Angelou, author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” will also be the first figure to be commemorated through the American Women Quarters Program, which became law in January 2021.
4 “I am honored to present our nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” said Mint Deputy Principal Ventris Gibson.
5 “Each quarter of 2022 is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of the accomplishments celebrated throughout this historic coin program. Maya Angelou, who appears on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and encourage ”.
7 Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was “proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most notable women.”
8 “Every time we redesign our currency, we have the opportunity to say something about our country: what we value and how we have progressed as a society,” he said in a statement.
10 In 1999, the US released a series of twenty-five cent coins honoring all 50 states, with the design of a state depicted on the reverse of the coin. The program was expanded to include US national parks and territories.
11 The new quarters, which were minted in Philadelphia and Denver, feature Washington on one side and Angelou on the other.
12 The other figures to appear on the coin in 2022 are: Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, first chief chieftain of the Cherokee Nation; Nina Otero-Warren, leader of the suffrage; and Anna May Wong, a Chinese-American movie star.
13 Born in Missouri in 1928, Angelou was an essayist and poet who worked with civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
14 Angelou, who delivered the poem at Bill Clinton’s first presidential inauguration, died in 2014.
15 Yellen has also voiced her support for the recognition of former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the US currency.
17 Putting Tubman, a black woman who escaped slavery and became a leader in the pre-Civil War abolitionist movement, in the bill would be an “honor,” but designing bills takes time, Yellen said in September.
18 Many US lawmakers celebrated the liberation of the Angelou neighborhoods, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.
19 “Historically, black women have done the most for our country and received the least recognition,” the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted. “I’m glad to see that Maya Angelou, a hero of mine, has her legacy honored.”
20 Source Credit: TheGuardian