Maya Angelou Will Be First Black Woman to Appear on US Quarters

( – The US Mint has started shipping the first of a new series of quarters, aimed at commemorating American women. Five new quarters will be released this year, and up to five more each year through 2025. So who is being honored first?

Right now, banks are taking delivery of coins featuring poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, the first black woman to appear on a US quarter dollar. Angelou, who was born in St. Louis, MO in 1928, became famous for her autobiographies which gave an insight into the lives of black Americans from the Jim Crow era to the modern-day. Her poetry also attracted attention; she was invited to read her work at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993, the first poet to speak at an inauguration in over 30 years. Angelou died in 2014.

Four other distinguished American women will be honored by the 2022 quarters.

  • Dr. Sally Ride, who became the first American woman in space in 1983 when she launched on Space Shuttle Challenger’s second mission.
  • Wilma Mankiller, a Cherokee activist who became the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985.
  • Nina Otero-Warren, the first woman to serve as superintendent of public schools in Santa Fe, NM.
  • Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress in Hollywood.

Do you think the US Mint made good choices?

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