A new quarter featuring legendary poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou and other trailblazing American women officially started shipping to banks on Monday, the U.S. Mint announced. Angelou is the first Black woman to appear on the quarter.
The Maya Angelou design is the first quarter in the "American Women Quarters Program," a four-year program that will include coins featuring prominent women in U.S. history.
The other honorees include astronaut Sally Ride; actress Anna May Wong; suffragist and politician Nina Otero-Warren; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. The coins featuring the other honorees will be shipped out this year through 2025, according to the Mint.
Angelou, who died in 2014 at the age of 86, held many distinctions. She received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama and won the Literarian Award (an honorary National Book Award). In 1992, she became the first Black woman (and second-ever poet) to write and present a poem at a presidential inauguration, in 1992. She also held more than 30 honorary degrees and published more than 30 bestselling works.