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Maya Angelou Featured On the US 25-cent Coin: Honoring Extraordinary Women

Maya Angelou Featured On the US 25-cent Coin

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Maya Angelou, legendary author, poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist has been featured on the a coin minted by the US Treasury. She is first black woman ever featured on the US 25-cent coin, also known a quarter. The quarters featuring Maya Angelou and other trailblazing American women started shipping on January 10, 2022. Other women featured on quarters include: actress Anna May Wong; astronaut Sally Ride; the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller; and activist and politician Nina Otero-Warren.

The quarter with Maya Angelou is,a according to the The US Treasury Mint, inspired "inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived." On the quarter, a sculpture of May Angelou shows her with arms uplifted, with a bird and the rising sun behind her.

The life of Maya Angelou is full of memorable outstanding achievements.
She started her fame, in 1969, with the inspiration autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,"" about her childhood in the US Deep South, plagued by open and institutional racism.
After than, she wrote more than 30 bestselling books and poetry, including seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and a list of plays, movies, and television shows.
In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award.

During her lifetime, Maya Angelou received dozens of honorary degrees. Maya Angelou died in 2014 at the age of 86.

She was also the first black woman to write and perform a poem at a presidential inauguration, when she was chosen by US President Bill Clinton to recite her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" during his inauguration. In 1993 her volume "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie" was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.


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 Harriet Tubman On the Front of 20 Dollars Bill:  Historical Moment for An Extraordinary Woman  

After the feature of Maya Angelou, eyes now are fixed to the next feature of another extraodinary Black woman, Harriet Tubman. On April 20, 2016, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to add a portrait of Henriett Tubman to the front of the twenty-dollar bill, and to get the bill ready for 2020. The process way delayed by the following administration (see her: Harriet Tubman On the Front of 20 Dollars Bill: Honoring An Extraordinary Woman ). In 2021, under the Biden administration, the US Treasury Department resumed the effort to add Henriett Tubman and to expedite the process. According to several sources, it will take 8 years, in 2030 to be exact,  to have Harriet Tubman's face on the new $20 bill.


But  again, the  US people have waited almost 100 years for this moment: seing the first woman on a US banknote since Martha Washington briefly graced the $1 bill in the 1890s, but most importantly the first Black woman, whose efforts, deemed almost beyond the humanly possible,  well documented in her lifetime, but like many African-Americans written out of history in the decades after the Civil War, given one of the most prominent honors in the US.

What is even more important is that Harriet Tubman, a slave who became a prominent abolitionist, will replace  on the front of the bill a former president who owned slaves. Former President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner, will be moved to the back.

Along with Harriet Tubman Davis, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Marian Anderson will be honored and  depicted on the back of the new $5 bill.

 

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