Celebrated Poet and Author Maya Angelou is among the first group of pioneering women to appear in a series of new neighborhoods, the US Mint announced on Oct 6.
From 2022 to 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters each year for the American Women Quarters Program. astronaut Sally Ride, Cherokee Nation chief Wilma Mankiller, women’s suffragist Nina Otero-Warren, and actress Anna May Wong joins Angelou in the first set.
An image of each woman, symbolizing their achievements, appears on the back of the medal. The head will have a new design from President George Washington.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” US Mint Acting Director Alison L. Doone said, adding that the images will remind future generations “of what can be achieved with vision, determination and a desire to improve opportunities for all.”
Angelou’s image, designed by Emily Damstra, shows her with arms raised, with a bird in flight and the rising sun behind her. Her poetry and way of life inspired its creation, de Munt said.
The pioneering work of the poet, I know why the caged bird sings, is an American classic that revolutionized, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Angelou’s 1969 memoir was nominated for a National Book Award in 1970 and was a New York Times bestseller for two years.
In 2011, chairman Barack Obama Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. They died in 2014 at age 86.
All the women in the inaugural group made great contributions. Astronaut Ride, who died in 2012, was the first American woman to fly in space. Mankiller, was the first woman elected head of the Cherokee Nation, as well as a Native American and women’s rights activist.
Otero-Warren, who died in 1965, was a leader in the New Mexico suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of public schools in Santa Fe. Wong, also known as Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star, has appeared in silent films, television and on the stage.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, introduced legislation that mandated the Treasury Department to create the American Women Quarters program that led to these landmark coins, according to The New York Times.
“For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color,” Lee says. declared.