When I need some change, I’m only accepting Bessies from now on.
It was announced by the United States Mint that Bessie Coleman, along with four other women who were pioneers in their field, will appear on select U.S. quarters in 2023.
The other women being honored include a former first lady, a prima ballerina, a journalist and a composer. The Secretary of the Treasury selected the women following discussions with the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.
Coleman was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas and was the tenth child out of thirteen children born to an African American mother and a Cherokee and African American father.
More than 100 years ago, Coleman became the first African American and Native American woman to get an International Pilot’s License in 1921 and in 1922 she completed the first public flight by an African American woman.
From the United States Mint:
“The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speak to the contributions women have always made in the history of our country,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson. “I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society.”
The other women being honored on the 2023 quarters include Jovita Idar, a Mexican American journalist, activist and teacher; Edith Kanaka’ole, an indigenous Hawaiian composer, dancer and teacher; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady and author, and Maria Tallchief, a Native American who became the first prima ballerina in the history of America, according to the United States Mint.
The first Black woman to be featured on a U.S. quarter was Maya Angelou and we’re still waiting for Harriet Tubman to make her long-awaited debut on the $20 dollar bill after it was delayed by the Trump administration.