Poet and activist Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to be honoured in a new version of the US quarter unveiled by the US Mint.
Angelou, also becomes the first figure commemorated through the American Women Quarters Program signed into law in January 2021.
The US Mint “has begun shipping the first coins” with Angelou’s likeness on the American quarter, a 25-cent piece, “It is my honour to present our nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson.
“Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program. Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”
The program directs the US Mint to issue quarters each year between 2022 and 2025 featuring five different female trailblazers who have contributed to the country.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was “proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women.”
“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,” she said in a statement.