Quarters featuring poet Maya Angelou are officially in circulation. The US Mint announced Monday (January 10) that the history-making quarters shipped out to banks across the US.
Maya Angelou is the first Black woman to be featured on a US quarter.
The design featuring the late poet laureate and author is the first in the “American Women Quarters Program” which will put out multiple quarters featuring trailblazing women in American history over the next four years.
“Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program,” US Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a statement. “Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, who helped lead the legislation to get the quarters program launched, tweeted following the news of the coins’ official release.
“The phenomenal women who shaped American history have gone unrecognized for too long –– especially women of color,” Lee wrote on Twitter. “Proud to have led this bill to honor their legacies.”
Other women in the series include astronaut Sally Ride, suffragist and political leader Nina Otero-Warren, actress Anna May Wong, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Maya Angelou passed away in 2014 at the age of 86. Her life’s work includes countless accolades and accomplishments like in 1992 when she became the first Black woman to present a poem during a presidential inauguration. She held more than 30 honorary degrees and published over 30 best-selling books in her lifetime.