Maya Angelou to be Honored on U.S. Quarters

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Even in death, famed poet/author Maya Angelou is making history once again as the first African American woman selected to have her image featured on a special edition quarter to be circulated by the U.S. Mint. 

The quarter—issued over a four-year period from 2022 through 2025—is part of the American Women Quarters program which will feature twenty iconic American women as part of the special minted series of quarters. The only other woman announced thus far—as part of the series—is NASA astronaut Sally Ride.

“For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have gone unrecognized, especially women of color,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who introduced the “Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020”, which required the Department of the Treasury to issue quarter-dollar coins emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of up to five prominent American women per year.

“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,” Lee continued. “They paved the way for many who came after them and inspired young women to carry on their legacy. 

The public is invited to submit recommendations for women to be honored via the following web portal established by the National Women’s History Museum: https://forms.gle/3BgR3BLbFfJ69XdYA.

Contributions may come from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts, but in accordance with the public law, the Secretary of the Treasury will select the final women to be honored following consultation with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.


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