July 6, 2022

Maya Angelou Makes History as the First Black Woman on a U.S. Quarter

Photo of freefalling U.S. coins

Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash

Maya Angelou has made history many times over the decades, and now, she’s making history as the first Black woman to appear on a U.S. quarter. Check out the shiny quarter below.

The U.S. Mint has announced that beginning this week, it is circulating a quarter that depicts the late, great Maya Angelou. It marks the first quarter to arrive as part of the American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program, which pays tribute to trailblazing women in history.

“It is my honor to present our Nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” Mint deputy director Ventris C. Gibson said in a statement. “Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program. Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”

“Maya Angelou’s writing and activism inspired countless Americans and her legacy helped fuel greater fairness and understanding across our nation,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, (D-NV) added. “She is exactly the type of leader I had in mind when Senator Fischer, Representative Lee and I wrote our bipartisan legislation to create a series of quarters honoring the contributions of American women. This coin will ensure generations of Americans learn about Maya Angelou’s books and poetry that spoke to the lived experience of Black women.”

A handful of other women have also been selected to appear on upcoming quarters, including Wilma Mankiller, Dr. Sally Ride, Nina Otero-Warren and Anna May Wong.

The American Women Quarters will be released through 2025. Maya Angelou was also honored by receiving the Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama back in 2010.

To learn more and enroll in the American Women Quarters Program, go here.