Angelou in the faces noticed on the quarters
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For the first time since oh, forever, the image of a woman will appear on a quarter. And yes, there is a connection with Arkansas.
In January, the US Mint will publish quarters featuring author Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride in its “American Women Quarters Program”.
They will appear on the reverse of the two-bit coins, with an updated version of George Washington on the front. The series will include up to 20 notable women in American history.
Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928 in Saint-Louis. After her parents divorced, she moved with her older brother to Stamps, where their grandmother owned a grocery store, according to the Arkansas Online Encyclopedia.
Angelou and her brother eventually moved with their mother to San Francisco, where she dropped out of high school and worked as the city’s first black cable car driver.
She returned to school and studied dance, drama, and music at the Labor School in San Francisco. She and her son, Claude, moved to New York City, where she became active in the black creative community.
His first book, the autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, was published in 1970. “Just Give Me A Cold Drink of Water Before I Diiie”, a collection of his poems, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1972.
In 1993, she read her poem “A Courageous and Surprising Truth” during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. That same year, she was among the first inductees of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.
Angelou was also an actor. She received an Emmy nomination in 1977 for her role in the “Roots” miniseries and starred in Tyler Perry’s “Medea’s Family Reunion”. She wrote a screenplay, “Georgia, Georgia”, and directed the 1988 film “Down in the Delta”.
She was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2011.
Angelou died on May 28, 2014 in Winston-Salem, NC
A DITTO PHOTO
Michael Stipe is best known as the frontman of the beloved REM group. Since the group’s split in 2011, Stipe has pursued his passion for photography. Her eponymous new photo book features images of her famous friends like Tilda Swinton, Kirsten Dunst and director Gus Van Sant.
Among those buddies is singer and White County native Beth Ditto.
Stipe took the black-and-white image of the former Gossip singer at the London wedding of British fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu.
Ditto’s most recent album is his first solo in 2017, “Fake Sugar”. She had a recurring role in the 2019 television series “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”, which stars Dunst and appeared in the 2018 Van Sant film “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on. Football”.
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