The US Mint releases new quarter – Maya Angelou
The US Mint announced the new quarter roll out featuring Maya Angelou. The new quarter went on circulation on Monday making the activist and late author the very first Black woman to be featured on the coin.
Although the new coin is just the first in the series of new quarters, there will still be new quarters. Also featuring other historical women in the history of America. Other new quarters in the same category will be released later this year until 2025.
Political entities introduced the bipartisan bill that gave life to the “American Women Quarters Program.” They are Senators Catherine Masto and Deb Fischer, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez.
Excited to announce that today, Maya Angelou becomes the first Black woman to appear on a US quarter!
The phenomenal women who shaped American history have gone unrecognized for too long—especially women of color. Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies. pic.twitter.com/TYZeEJ8LhX
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 10, 2022
In addition, Congresswoman Lee praised the program and acknowledged Maya Angelou’s accomplishments and contribution to the Bay Area. She said, “As a leader in the civil rights movement, poet laureate, college professor, Broadway actress, dancer, and the first female African American cable car conductor in San Francisco. Maya Angelou’s brilliance and artistry inspired generations.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also expressed her recognition in a statement. 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. This includes Maya Angelou.”
While George Washington still appears on the ‘heads’ side of the new quarter, the ‘tails’ side features Maya Angelou. It even entails one of her popular works, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
Always the trailblazer, Maya Angelou today becomes the first Black woman ever to appear on a U.S. Quarter. Well deserved.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) January 10, 2022
Lawmakers Behind the New Quarter
The lawmakers applauded the release of the new coin. They also credited Californian Democrat, Rep. Barbara Lee with the momentous achievement. Lee was the one who proposed the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020. They passed the bill in January 2021. Which made the circulation of the coins possible now.
Rep. Lee tweeted, “The phenomenal women who shaped American history have gone unrecognized for too long. Especially women of color. Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies.”
There’s a US Mint public invitation to submit names of women who they think are American legends. Then the bureau accepted entries of women with great work in their fields. Particularly those with excellent work in science, arts, and civil rights. An emphasis on women from “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backwards” was stated. Though there’s a requirement that the nominees. They must be dead.
Some of the women who’ll appear in the next new quarters are Sally Ride. She is the first American woman in space. The Asian American actress Anna May Wong is also on the line-up. Suffragette and politician Nina Otero-Warren and Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller will also appear in the new quarters.