Mint Makes History with Maya Angelou Quarter

The first African American woman printed on U.S. currency


Maya Angelou was an American poet and a civil rights activist. She passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86. Maya Angelou was most commonly known for her unique way of writing poetry. She has written 30 best sellers, and her most famous poems are “Still I Rise” and “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. Also, former president Barack Obama gifted her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Now, she is the first African American woman to be on the Quarter (25¢).  

Emily Damstra, an artist, designed the coin, and Craig A. Campbell sculpted it. The coin will have our first president, George Washington on the heads side of the coin, and the poet on the tails side. The poet will have her arms raised, a bird, and the sun behind her. The U.S. Mint started rolling out these coins on January 11th, 2022, and will be shipped all the way until 2025.

Some believe that the poet deserves more than just a quarter. I spoke to student and literary enthusiast Stevie Divonna and asked his outlooks on the situation. He responded with, “ she needs more than just a quarter. After what she did, she needs a whole monument.”

Our Secretary of the Treasury also made a statement saying, “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. I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.”

Soon, if you get lucky enough, check the tail side of your quarter when you receive change. You might be able to receive one of these coins when you go to the store. Although, Maya Angelou won’t be the only African American woman on U.S. currency. We are still waiting for the abolitionist, Harriet Tubman to be printed on the twenty-dollar bill.