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Names and faces

by The Associated Press | January 12, 2022 at 4:54 a.m.
Singer Sheryl Crow walks on the field before an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

• The United States Mint this week began shipping quarters featuring the image of poet Maya Angelou, the first coins in its American Women Quarters Program. The quarter design depicts Angelou with outstretched arms. Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry. Angelou, an American singer, actress, author, poet and civil-rights activist, rose to prominence with the publication of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in 1969. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis in 1928, she moved with her older brother to Stamps, where their grandmother owned a grocery store, when her parents divorced. Both Angelou and her brother eventually moved with their mother to San Francisco. Angelou, who died in 2014 at the age of 86, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 by President Barack Obama. The mint's program will issue 20 quarters over the next four years honoring women and their achievements in shaping the nation's history. Additional honorees in 2022 will be physicist and first female astronaut Sally Ride, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Also honored this year will be Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico's suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools, and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, the Senate sponsor of legislation directing the mint to issue the quarters honoring women, applauded the Mint's selection of Angelou for the first coin. "This coin will ensure generations of Americans learn about Maya Angelou's books and poetry that spoke to the lived experience of Black women," she said in a statement.

• The University of Missouri has named a choral hall after musician Sheryl Crow, who graduated from the school in 1984 with a degree in music education. The Columbia Missourian reported that the newly named hall is inside of the Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Music Center. Crow, 59, held a benefit concert in 2015 to help raise money for the $24 million center, which opened in 2020. Julia Gaines, director of the School of Music, said they had hoped to align the unveiling of the hall with Crow headlining the Roots N Blues Festival this past September. But Crow's covid-19 policies prevented her from visiting the school. Gaines said the hall will be used primarily as a performance space. Several classes, including choral and conducting, also will take place there.

  photo  An undated photo provided by The United States Mint shows the reverse side of a United States quarter featuring the likeness of the writer Maya Angelou. The writer and poet Maya Angelou has become the first Black woman to have her likeness depicted on the quarter, the first in a series of coins commemorating pioneering American women that began shipping this week, the U.S. Mint announced Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (The Department of Treasury via The New York Times) -- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. --
 
 

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