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Black LGBTQ+ History Month Celebrates Pauli Murray As First Black Queer Person On US Currency

This could not get any better. A black nonbinary civil rights activist, lawyer, poet, and priest will appear on a quarter. He will be the first black queer on the US currency. Her name is Pauli Murray. Murray’s quarter will be issued in 2024. Others in the 2024 group are Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War–era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and abolitionist; Zitkala-Ša, a writer, composer, educator, and activist for Native Americans’ rights; and Celia Cruz, the Cuban-American singer known as the Queen of Salsa.

Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson said in a press release, “The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”

Murray, born in 1910 in Baltimore, was assigned female at birth but questioned their gender and is now understood as nonbinary. They became a lawyer and activist against sexism and racism. Murray’s book States’ Laws on Race and Color, was described by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as the Bible for civil rights litigators.

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