WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States Mint says it has begun shipping quarters featuring the image of poet Maya Angelou.
They’re the first coins in its American Women Quarters Program. Angelou was an American author, poet and Civil Rights activist who rose to prominence with the publication of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1969.
She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama and died i in 2014 at the age of 86.
The quarter design depicts Angelou with outstretched arms.
Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry.
Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years.
The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.
The additional honorees in 2022 are physicist and first woman astronaut Dr. Sally Ride; Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights; Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, who achieved international success despite racism and discrimination.