I have to wonder what’s with the sudden placement of Black people on money but I damn sure won’t complain about it. The U.S. Mint announced that Lady Liberty will be depicted as Black on a $100 gold coin. This is the second time in less than a year that such a major announcement has been made. In April 2016, The U.S. Treasury Department announced that new $5, $10 and $20 bills featuring Black activist such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Harriet Tubman would be in circulation soon.
The 24K gold coin itself is stunning, pure gold, Lady Liberty bears clear African American features from her full lips to her locs. This spectacular coin was made in honor of the 225th anniversary celebration of the U.S. Mint and Treasury. This is the first time Lady Liberty has been presented as anything other than a white woman. In fact, The Coinage Act in 1792 required Lady Liberty and other coins to portray liberty in their verbal depictions and imagery.
The new Lady Liberty coin will be available in April and is sure to sell out fast. Older versions of the golden Lady Liberty coin, though sold out, were priced at $170. Expect the new coin to cost that much or higher.
In a statement the U.S. Mint said
“The coin’s obverse design features a profile view of allegorical Liberty in the form of a young African American woman wearing a crown of stars. The woman is emblematic of Liberty and the crown of stars that she wears is based on the crown on the Statue of Freedom that is atop the Capitol dome. The coin’s reverse features a bold and powerful eagle in flight, with eyes toward opportunity and a determination to attain it.”
Further explaining the depiction of a Black woman as Lady Liberty U.S. Mint Chief of Staff Elisa Basnight made it clear the decision was to show the diversity of the nation.
“As we as a nation continue to evolve, so does liberty’s representation. We live in a nation that affords us the opportunity to dream big and try to accomplish the seemingly impossible,” Basnight said.
This coin featuring a Black Lady Liberty is just the first in a diverse set to be minted. In the future you can expect to see other nationalities featured on the Lady Liberty coin.
Of course, this coin isn’t being met with joy by everyone. On social media there are some throwing racist fits. Images like this have appeared.
If this is how they react to a commemorative coin that will only be shipped to those who pay for and want it, how are they going to react when the new $5 $10 and $20 bills are in regular circulation