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Maya Angelou Becomes First Black Woman to Appear on Quarter

The late prolific poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to be featured on the U.S. quarter.

The new coin is part of the American Women Quarters Program, which will later have coins bearing the likeness of Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American movie star, Adelina Otero-Warren, a suffrage movement leader and Sally Ride, the first American woman to go to space.

The Angelou coin has George Washington on one side and shows Angelou with her arms raising up in front of a bird and beams of sunshine. 

Angelou joins Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea, both dollars, and Helen Keller, Alabama’s quarter, to appear on a U.S. coin. The Treasury is also planning a $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman in place of Andrew Jackson, but the process was delayed by then-President Trump and it is unclear when the new bills will be printed and circulated.

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