Salsa music icon Celia Cruz will be featured on the U.S. quarter, the U.S. Mint announced, as it unveiled new faces of women who will be on the 2024 coins. She is believed to be the first Afro Latina to be on the coin.
The “Queen of Salsa” was a Cuban American singer and one of the most popular Latin artists of the last century. The honor comes after a lifetime of achievements, including five Grammy awards and a National Medal of Arts.
Cruz was 78 when she died in 2003 – and later received a Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
The U.S. Mint listed the other winners as: Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civli War-era surgeon and abolitionist who crossed battle lines to care for wounded soldiers and the only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor; Pauli Murray, a civil rights activist considered to be one of the “most important social justice advocates in the 20th century” and Zitkala-Ša, an activist for Native Americans’ right to U.S. citizenship.
U.S. Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a statement that all the women being honored “made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way.”
“The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives,” Gibson said. “By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”
The designs for the quarters will be released in mid-2023. The American Women’s Quarters Program is meant to honor achievements made by women, according to the U.S. Mint.
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