Famous poet and author My Angel is among the first group of experienced women to appear in a series of new quarters, the US Mint announced on October 6.
From 2022 to 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters each year for the American Women’s Neighborhood Program. astronaut Sally Reid, Cherokee Nation boss Wilma Mankiller, female suffragette Nina Otero-Warrenand actress Anna Mae Wong join Angelou in the first set.
An image of each woman will appear on the tail of the coin, symbolizing their achievements. The chapter will include a new design by the president George Washington.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are inextricably engraved in American culture,” acting director of the US Mint. Alison L. Down he said, adding that the images would remind future generations “what can be achieved with vision, determination and a desire to improve opportunities for all”.
The image of Angelou, designed by Emily Damstra, depicts her with raised hands, with a bird in flight and the rising sun behind her. Her poetry and lifestyle inspired her creation, the Mint said.
The main work of the poet, I know why the bird in the cage sings, is an American classic that started a revolution, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Angelou’s 1969 memoir was nominated for a National Book Award in 1970 and is a two-year New York Times bestseller.
In 2011, President Barack Obama awards Angelou the presidential medal for freedom. She died in 2014 at the age of 86.
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All the women in the introductory group made an incredible contribution. Astronaut Ride, who died in 2012, was the first American woman to fly into space. Mankiler was the first woman to be elected head of the Cherokee nation, as well as an activist for Indian and women’s rights.
Otero-Warren, who died in 1965, was a leader in the New Mexico election movement and the first female overseer of public schools in Santa Fe. Wong, dubbed the first Chinese movie star in Hollywood, has appeared in silent films, television and on stage.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, introduced the legislation that ordered the Treasury Department to create the U.S. Neighborhood Program that led to these remarkable coins, according to New York Times.
“For too long, many of the women who have contributed to our country’s history have remained unrecognized, especially people of color,” Lee said.