Anna May Wong, who rose to Hollywood stardom in the 1920s while facing deep-rooted discrimination, will be the first Asian American featured on a United States coin as part of the American Women Quarters Program.
Wong, a third-generation Chinese American, had to overcome widespread bias and the film industry’s typecasting to become the nation’s first movie star of Asian descent.
U.S. Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said Wong’s new coin celebrates her as a “courageous advocate” who championed greater representation and more multi-dimensional roles for Asian American actors.
“This quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments by Anna May Wong, who overcame challenges and obstacles she faced during her lifetime,” he said.
Wong will be the fifth woman honored this year in the quarters program, joining writer and social activist Maya Angelou; astronaut and first woman in space Sally Ride; Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; and New Mexico suffrage leader Nina Otero-Warren.
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