Maya Angelou becomes first black woman to feature on US coin


Popular Poet and human rights activist, late Maya Angelou, has been added and featured to the US quarter coin.

She is the first black woman to be added to the coin.

This happens to be the first in a series of coins that is designed to celebrate the achievements of American women.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen reiterated how glad she was of the significance of the redesigned coin and the perception it gives about the Nation.

She said: “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.

“I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.”

The quarter coin, which is short for the quarter dollar is worth 25 cents and has inscriptions of “The United States of America” and “Quarter Dollar” on the top and bottom respectively.

On the sides, the inscriptions engraved are the name of the poet “Maya Angelou” and the Latin word “e pluribus unum” which means ‘one from many.

In the middle is the portrait of Maya with her lifted hands up to the sky and behind her was a dove.

On her head was something like a beam shining on her.

The US mint has said that the images were inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived.

On the other side of the coin is of course George Washington.

It is believed other women will be added to the other American women’s quarters programme like Chinese Anna May Wong who is known as the first Chinese American movie star, and Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly to space.

She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.

She was born on 4th April 1928 and died 28th May 2014.

In 1972, she became the first Black woman to write a screenplay for a major film release

“I know why the caged birds sing” which was written in 1969 and went on to become a best seller for two years and in 2011 Time magazine ranked it as one of the most influential books of modern times.

She was the first female inaugural poet in U.S. presidential history. In 1993 she performed “On the Pulse of Morning,” for former president Bill Clinton’s inauguration.

In 2010, she was bestowed the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom the following year by former President Barack Obama.

Some American lawmakers have also expressed their excitement in this development like Rep. Barbara Lee, the sponsor of the resolution that paved the way for the creation of the American Women Quarters Program, who via her Twitter handle Rep. Barbara Lee claims that the phenomenal works of black women have gone unrecognized for too long. She said

“Excited to announce that today, Maya Angelou becomes the first Black woman to appear in a US quarter!

“The phenomenal women who shaped American history has gone unrecognized for too long—especially women of color. Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies.”


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