Celia Cruz will be the first Afro Latina to appear on U.S. quarters : NPR
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Celia Cruz once made history. The late Cuban American icon record 80 albums, won 23 gold discs, won 5 Grammy Awards and received the president’s National Medal of Arts. And now, the US Mint is honoring Cruz with a quarter of her own, making her the first Afro Latina to appear on the coin.
She is one of five people honored to be part of American Women’s Zone Program for 2024. The program begins in 2022 and runs through 2025 to honor the achievements and contributions of American women. Other honorees for 2024 include Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walkera Civil War surgeon and suffrage advocate; Pauli Murray, a civil rights activist and lawyer; And Zitkala-Šaa suffrage activist from the Yankton Sioux Nation.
Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a statement: “All of the women honored have lived remarkable and multifaceted lives and made a significant impact on the Nation. our family in their own way.”
“Women who pioneered change throughout their lives, undaunted by the status quo conveyed in their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, Mint continues to unite connects America through coins that are like little works of art in your pocket.”
Cruz was born in 1925 in Havana. She initially made a splash in Cuba as the lead singer for the country’s most famous orchestra, La Sonora Matancera. After the Cuban Revolution, she immigrated to America in 1961 and helped define the sound of the salsa music we know and love today. Her energetic stage presence, gorgeous costumes and stunning vocals have made her a household name throughout her more than 60-year career. She died in 2003 at the age of 77.
Designs for the 2024 American Women’s Quarter will be released in mid-2023.