The United States has launched a coin with the image of Maya Angelou. The poet and activist, Maya Angelou, is the first woman of color to appear on an American coin.
“Every time we redesign our currencies, we have the opportunity to say something about our country, what we value and how we have progressed as a society.” said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Coins with the figure of Angelou are part of the American Women in Coin Program.
Among the other women who will appear on the coins are Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the first female Cherokee Nation chief; Nina Otero-Warren, one of the fighters for the right to vote; and Anna May Wong, the Chinese-American film star.
Angelou became famous with the publication of her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1969, a candid account of rape and racism in the isolated South. She also worked with civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
Angelou recited the poem at Bill Clinton’s first presidential inauguration ceremony. In 2010 Barack Obama honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She died in 2014 at the age of 86./ DW