The U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program plans to introduce five coins with tails honoring a group of impactful and influential women. They revealed the first batch of designs, which includes the late Angelou alongside four trailblazing women, on Wednesday (October 6).
The iconic poet will be depicted with her arms outstretched with a flying bird and a rising sun behind her. Officials say this image was “inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived.”
Angelou has over 30 bestselling titles under her name, speaking candidly about race in America, colonialism in Africa, and personal experiences. Not only has she received dozens of honorary degrees, but the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient was also the first Black woman to write and present a poem at a presidential inauguration in 1992.
Astronaut Sally Ride, actress Anna May Wong, politician Nina Otero-Warren and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will also be featured on these coins.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” U.S. Mint acting Director Alison L. Doone said in a statement. “Generations to come will look at coins bearing these designs and be reminded of what can be accomplished with vision, determination, and a desire to improve opportunities for all.”
The American Women Quarters Program got the green light from Congress earlier this year and will run from 2022 to 2025.
These special coins will be available for purchase next year.