Posted on January 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The US quarter featuring Maya Angelou has officially gone into circulation — meaning the country has its first coin depicting a Black woman in its history.

The poet and activist is the first woman to be honored as part of the US Mint's American Women Quarters program; Dr. Sally Ride (a physicist and the first female astronaut) and Wilma Mankiller (the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation) will join her later this year.

The new quarter shows Angelou standing with her arms outstretched in front of a bird in flight and a rising sun.

Imagery was "inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived," according to the US Mint.  

Angelou, best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, also wrote and delivered a poem for US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, elegized South African President Nelson Mandela by request of the US State Department, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

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