The U.S. Mint has launched a series of coins commemorating pioneering American women and the first in the collection honours the civil rights leader, writer and poet Maya Angelou. She becomes the first Black woman to have her likeness depicted on the quarter. The Angelou coin is the first in a series designed to celebrate the accomplishments of American women.
The American Women Quarters Program is a four-year effort in which the Mint will issue five quarters a year to honour women in fields including women’s suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science and the arts. Look out for this year’s other honorees: Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, a Native American activist; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood.
“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,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement. “I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.”