American poet Maya Angelou to be on quarter


Lavette Williams, Editor-in-Chief

Another barrier was broken on Jan. 10 when the United States Mint, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury who is responsible for producing coinage, announced that American poet Maya Angelou would be the next face to appear on a Quarter. On the tails side of the 2022 Quarters, Angelou’s side profile can be seen with her arms out like the scales of justice and an American eagle shadow loud behind her.

While Fredrick Douglas made an appearance on the 2017 quarters, Angelou would be the first African American woman to be featured on
it. This quarter will also be the first coin in the American Women Quarters Program, which is a four-year program celebrating the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the development and history of our country.

The American Women Quarters Program is expected to continue through 2025, releasing up to five new reverse designs each year, according to the U.S. Mint. These designs will feature women from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds.

“It is my honor to present our Nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson said on its website. “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.” Angelou’s contributions to the world goes beyond her writing. Although she is well-known for her book, “I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings,” Angelou is also remembered for her activism and for her ability to speak up for the marginalized.

While Angelou has published over 30 titles, received over 50 honorary degrees throughout her life time, this is yet another way of the country paying homage to one of many female pioneers.