The late Maya Angelou has made history by becoming the first Black woman ever to appear on a US quarter. The newly designed coin went into circulation on Monday (Jan. 10).
According to a press release from the United States Mint, the coin is the first in a series that will feature prominent women in American history.
The coin features an image of Angelou with arms uplifted, a bird in flight, and a rising sun behind her. The US Mint said the image of Angelou was “inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived.”
"Each time we redesign our currency, we have the chance to say something about our country -- what we value, and how we've progressed as a society," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a separate statement. "I'm very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America's most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou."
The renowned activist and author wrote 36 books, including her most notable work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings during which she discussed the racial discrimination she faced while growing up. She died in 2014 at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at 86-years-old.
The other quarters which are part of the series will include the physicist and first female astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, Asian American actress Anna May Wong and suffragette and politician Nina Otero-Warren.