Maya Angelou becomes first Black woman to appear on a US quarter | Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has change into the first Black woman ever to appear on a US quarter, after a coin that includes the late poet and activist’s picture went into circulation on Monday.

The quarter options a picture of Angelou together with her arms uplifted, a hen in flight and a rising solar behind her, with a portrait of George Washington on the “heads” aspect. The US Mint stated the picture of Angelou was “impressed by her poetry and symbolic of the way in which she lived”.

The US quarter honouring Maya Angelou, designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program and artist Emily Damstra, sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell.
The US quarter honouring Maya Angelou. {Photograph}: The Division of Treasury/AFP/Getty Photographs

The poet and author, who died in 2014, was the creator of I Know Why the Caged Hen Sings, through which she wrote concerning the racial discrimination she skilled rising up. The creator of 36 books – and the recipient of greater than 20 honorary levels – she learn her poem On the Pulse of the Morning at Invoice Clinton’s 1992 inauguration, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2010.

“Every time we redesign our forex, we now have the prospect to say one thing about our nation – what we worth, and the way we’ve progressed as a society. I’m very proud that these cash have fun the contributions of a few of America’s most outstanding girls, together with Maya Angelou,” stated Janet Yellen, US treasury secretary.


The Angelou quarter is the first within the US Mint’s American Ladies Quarters programme, which is able to embody the physicist and first feminine astronaut Dr Sally Trip and Wilma Mankiller, the first feminine principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, later this 12 months. The American public was invited to submit names of iconic girls for the programme after a invoice put ahead by Democrat congresswoman Barbara Lee.

“I’ll ceaselessly cherish the personal moments I had the privilege to share with Maya, from speaking in her front room as sisters to her invaluable counsel all through the challenges I confronted as a Black woman in elected workplace,” stated Lee. “I’m proud to have led this effort to honour these phenomenal girls, who as a rule are ignored in our nation’s telling of historical past. If you end up holding a Maya Angelou quarter, could you be reminded of her phrases, ‘make certain that you don’t die with out having accomplished one thing great for humanity.’”

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