During his “For What It’s Worth” stand-up, Dave Chappelle once said that American money “looks like baseball cards with slave owners on them.” In 2016, the Obama administration first announced a proposal to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with abolitionist Harriet Tubman by 2020. Like with most things, the Trump administration stalled progress on the change.
While we still wait for abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman to make her long-promised debut on the $20 bill, U.S. Mint has started shipping the quarter featuring famous writer, poet, and activist, Maya Angelou, according to Politico:
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke about this achievement:
“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. “I’m very proud that these coins celebrate the contributions of some of America’s most remarkable women, including Maya Angelou.”
This quarter is included as part of the American Women Quarters Program, passed through Congress in 2020. The Secretary of the Treasury will issue up to five quarters per year until the end of 2025. Along with Angelou, the series will feature Anna May Wong, widely considered the first Chinese American movie star, Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly to space, and Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson offered some thoughts about the new quarter in a statement:
“Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program,” Gibson said in the statement. “Maya Angelou, featured on the reverse of this first coin in the series, used words to inspire and uplift.”
U.S. Mint asks to check your local banks in late January and early February if you’re looking for the quarter. The series is also available for preorder.