Maya Angelou, other women will be celebrated on new U.S. coins

Maya Angelou, other women will be celebrated on new U.S. coins

3:52pm Oct 08, 2021
The Maya Angelou Quarter. Image from the United States Mint. Screenshot: KERI BROWN/WFDD

Poet, actress, author, and activist Maya Angelou will be honored on U.S. coins.

The United States Mint is honoring the achievements of women who have had an impact on the nation’s history.

The American Women Quarters Program was authorized by Congress and celebrates a diverse group from different eras and backgrounds. Maya Angelou’s quarter shows her arms wide open and lifted with the image of a bird and sun shining behind her.

Some of her notable work includes her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." In 1993, Angelou was the first African American woman to write and present a poem at a presidential inauguration.

She had strong ties to North Carolina. 

Angelou lived in Winston-Salem and taught students at Wake Forest University for more than 30 years.

She died in 2014 at the age of 86.

The first series of coins will also feature astronaut Sally Ride; actress Anna May Wong; suffragist and politician Nina Otero-Warren; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. 

The coins will be released beginning next year through 2025.

*Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that Angelou wrote and presented a poem at the presidential inauguration in 1992. The inauguration was in 1993. 

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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