Who was Maya Angelou?

AMERICAN poet Maya Angelou was well known for her books and activism during the civil rights movement.

The star passed away in 2014 but is still making history today after it was revealed that she would be the face of a new United States quarter.

Who was Maya Angelou?

Born April 4, 1928, Angelou was known as an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. 

Prior to her death, she published a number of pieces including seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry.

She is highly recognized for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style which often defended the rights of women and young people.

Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86, and was survived by her son, Guy Johnson, 77, who is also a writer, and her grandsons, Colin Ashanti Murphy-Johnson and Elliott Jones.

Is Maya Angelou on the United States quarter?

On January 10, 2022, Angelou made history after it was announced by the United States Mint that a new quarter of her had gone into circulation, making her the first Black woman ever to appear on the coin.

This coin marks the first one of the American Women Quarters Program which is scheduled to include prominent women in American history, with more expected from 2022 to 2025.

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"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," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement at the time.

"I'm very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America's most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou."

Other quarters are expected to honor Sally Ride, a former astronaut who made history as the first American woman in space, Anna May Wong, who was known as an Asian American actress, Nina Otero-Warren who was known as a suffragette and politician, and Wilma Mankiller, who was known as the Cherokee Nation leader.

What are Maya Angelou's most famous writings?

Angelou's most famous writings include:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)
  • Still I Rise (1978)
  • On the Pulse of Morning (1993)
  • The Heart of a Woman (1981)
  • A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002)
  • Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie (1971)

Because of her work, she has won a number of awards and honorary degrees over the years.

Angelou is also a three-time Grammy Awards winner who won the award for Best Spoken Word Album in 1994, 1996, and 2003.

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