For the first time in 225 years, we have a black Lady Liberty on an American coin.
The U.S. Mint and Treasury is releasing the special coin in honor of itsÂ 225th anniversary. The 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin features a stunning design of a black woman wearing a crown of stars as she gazes proudly into the distance. Treasury Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin says that the design "took her breath away," and it is easy to see why.
Look at this stunning coin:
A few moments ago, Treasury Secretary Lew and Deputy Secretary Raskin, along with U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director?
"The first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms-including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others-to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. These 24-karat gold coins will be issued biennially."
Whether or not you are a coin buff, this is awesome news. Research has shown that black women are starkly underrepresented in popular culture and in the media. And, when they are depicted, they tend to be shown in a very negative light. A recent studyÂ showed that black women and girls are portrayed as bossy, loud, sassy, tough and angry. They are also shown, often, in a very sexualized manner.
It is clear that positive representations of black women are desperately needed in this country. The 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin will be a step in the right direction, following 2016's announcement that abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman will take President Andrew Jackson's place on the front of the $20 bill. (Although it could take years before you can hold one in your hand).
Here's hoping that we continue to make progress towards becoming a more inclusive and equal society. As Harriet Tubman would say, "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.â