Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released the following statement in response to the distribution of the new U.S. quarter featuring award-winning author, poet and activist, Maya Angelou:
“For so long, Black women who have shaped American history and forced this country to live up to the values enshrined in the Constitution have been relegated to footnotes in history books, or simply unrecognized altogether. That’s why I am delighted to see Maya Angelou honored as the first Black woman to be featured on a U.S. quarter as part of the American Women Quarters Program.
“From Maya Angelou’s fight to advance civil rights to her barrier-breaking poems and novels that enlightened the broader American public on the plight of African Americans— she transformed society and we as a nation are so much better because of her contributions. She left a legacy behind for us to celebrate, remember and honor. This quarter is a reminder of that, and a reminder that there is so much work to be done to pick up where she left off.
“The celebration of phenomenal women, especially women of color, who’ve shaped American history, doesn’t stop here. I look forward to honoring the other influential American women we’ll get to see on our quarters this coming year and through 2025 thanks to this program. Women like Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren and Anna May Wong — trailblazers who broke glass ceilings and reshaped the fabric of America for the better. These are wonderful representations of the experience of American women throughout history, and as the program prepares to feature up to 15 more inspiring women over the next few years, it’s imperative that we continue to see this kind of diverse representation.
“I am proud to have worked alongside my colleague, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, to advance legislation to make this happen, and I am dedicated to continuing the work to make sure that our currency reflects the diversity of this nation.”