The commemorative coin bears the image of Angelo spreading her arms with a bird in flight and the sun rising behind her. The United States Mint, the governmental organization responsible for producing the coins, wrote in a press release Monday that the statue was “inspired by her poetry and symbolizes the way she lives.”
Maya Angelou was a writer, poet, activist, teacher, singer, dancer, and much more. Most of all, she was known for her autobiography “I Know Why Caged Birds Sing”. In this bestselling book, Angelou recounts the traumatic experiences of her childhood in the racially afflicted southern United States. This was the first book of its kind, giving black women a literary voice, and it became a regular part of the book list in American schools. The famous Angelou passed away in 2014 at the age of 86.
“Every time we design our coins, we have the opportunity to say something about our country – what we value and how we have progressed as a society,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said of the new coin. “I am very proud that these coins honor the contributions of some of America’s most prominent women, including Maya Angelou.”
The United States Mint shipped the first shipment of Angelo’s portrait coins on Monday. The neighborhoods will soon pass into the hands of many American citizens. The new coin is not a collector’s item, but is minted in large quantities for everyday use.
salute to american women
Traditionally, the quarter face bears the portrait of the first US President George Washington and the other side is an eagle. The design on the back is sometimes changed. The United States Mint will issue a series of coins in the coming years to honor American women and their contribution to American history.
US citizens may submit proposals from women to be honored in the program. This year will include coins featuring Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and Wilma Mankiller, the first chief of the original Cherokee Nation.
The lack of diversity in the US currency has been criticized for decades. Most banknotes and coins contain white men, including many slave owners. The Biden administration announced early last year that it would change the $20 bill. Harriet Tubman, a former handmaid who helped at least 300 escaped slaves escape to the United States, will replace former president and slave owner Andrew Jackson. Since then, he has remained quiet about the proposal, which dates back to the Obama days.
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