Poet and Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou to Be First Black Lady on the U.S. Quarter

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The US Mint has introduced that Maya Angelou would be the first Black girl to be featured on the U.S. quarter. The quarter would be the first issued as a part of a program known as “American Girls Quarters (AWQ) Program” that may honor American ladies’s contributions to American historical past. Different ladies to be honored in 2022 via this system are: Wilma Mankiller, Sally Trip, Anna Could Wong, and Nina Otero-Warren.

Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson stated in a press release that “every 2022 quarter is designed to mirror the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated all through this historic coin program. Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this primary coin within the sequence, used phrases to encourage and uplift.”

Angelou wore many hats as a poet, performer, activist, professor, dancer, and singer. She gained worldwide acclaim with the 1969 launch of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Chook Sings, and would go on to publish greater than 30 works, together with nonfiction, fiction, and verse. She acquired the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010,  the Literarian Award in 2013, in addition to an honorary Nationwide E-book Award and greater than 30 honorary levels. She died at 86 in 2014.

The entrance of the quarters launched as a part of the AWQ Program will show a portrait of George Washington, whereas the backs will characteristic designs which might be consultant of the ladies being honored. Angelou’s has a picture of her together with her arms upifted, together with her physique over the picture of a chook flying and a shining solar. These are all issues the Mint says characterize “her poetry and… the best way she lived.”

This system is a results of a bipartisan invoice sponsored by California Rep. Barbara Lee, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, and Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer. Rep. Barbara Lee and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto each tweeted their assist of the cash on Monday.

Rep. Lee expressed how “the exceptional ladies who formed American historical past have gone unrecognized for too lengthy—particularly ladies of colour.”

For these within the Maya Angelou quarter, the Mint recommends contacting native banks in “late January and early February.” Orders for a proof set of the cash could also be even be made right here.

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