Maya Angelou is set to be honored as a part of the new American Woman Quarters Program.
The iconic poet and writer’s face will be splashed on the back of quarters solidifying her significance in American history. The New York Times reports the new U.S. Mint program will commemorate the accomplishments of 20 American women including Sally Ride.
Angelou and Sally Ride’s coins will be in circulation beginning next January. Angelou and Ride are the first women to appear on a series of quarters. The program will run for three years in total.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat spearheaded the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 to highlight unsung heroes in U.S. history. In a statement, she shared, “For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color.” On Angelou and Dr. Ride, she noted they both, “paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy.”
“I am pleased to see that the first women to be recognized under my bill are outstanding individuals in the fields of science and literature: Dr. Sally Ride and Dr. Maya Angelou. They paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy.”
Angelou has a unique life story that captured the hearts of the nation years ago. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, her 1969 memoir details distinct moments of her life. The autobiography and her other works led to widespread recognition. At President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” further signifying how regarded her writings are. She died at 86 in 2014.
The American Women Quarters Program will include women “from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts,” according to a U.S. Mint statement. The featured women will also be from “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds.”
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