The United States Mint announced a new U.S. quarter went into circulation on Monday. As a part of the American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program, a program honoring American women and their contributions to history, Maya Angelou is the first of many women who will appear on coins this year.
“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,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson in a newly released statement.
George Washington remains on the front of the coin, while a depiction of Angelou and her iconic book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” appears on the reverse. The bestselling book served as one of the many things responsible for Maya Angelou’s prominence.
Although the poet and activist is the first black woman on a quarter, she was no stranger to trailblazing. In 1992, Angelou read “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her the first black woman to write and present a poem at the Presidential inauguration.