The U.S. Currency’s First Asian American Movie Star Anna May Wong will Be On Display Next Week


The U.S. Mint just announced that actress Anna May Wong will be appearing on quarters this month, honoring the woman who is referred to as Hollywood’s first Asian American movie star. Her work in early Hollywood transformed the industry.

Wong’s Trailblazing Hollywood Career

Wong started acting as an actor in the 1920s. He appeared in silent films like The Toll of the Sea The Thief in Baghdad. She continued her career in film when “talkies”Starring in silent films has been replaced by silent movies Daughter of the Dragon, Java HeadAnd Shanghai’s Daughter

Wong was tired of being typecast and moved to Europe in 1928 to start acting in German, British and French films. A few years later she returned to Hollywood, where she spent the rest of her life advocating for better roles for Asian American actors. 

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“Why is it that the screen Chinese is nearly always the villain of the piece, and so cruel a villain—murderous, treacherous, a snake in the grass,” She said this in a 1933 interview. “We are not like that.”

Mint Director Calls Wong ‘A Courageous Advocate’

The U.S. Mint is expected to create more than 300 million coins bearing Wong’s image—a close-up of the actress’ face resting on her hand. On the reverse side of the coin is a picture of George Washington, created by Laura Gardin Fraser (the first woman to design a currency coin for the United States) in 1921.

Mint Director Ventris Gibson named Wong “a courageous advocate who championed increased representation and more multi-dimensional roles for Asian American actors.”

The Women Being Honored By The U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program

Wong isn’t the only woman who will appear on American quarters in the coming years. The American Women Quarters Program of the U.S. Mint was recently launched. This program will honor five female trailblazers annually between 2022 & 2025. 

The U.S. Mint also honored Sally Ride, Sally Ride, Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Suffragist, and Politician Nina Otero Warren and Wilma Mannkiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief. 

The U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program is an excellent way to honor women who have made huge marks on their industries, advocated for minority groups, and changed the world. Too many women have been omitted from history and their contributions stolen, so hopefully, we’ll see more of these programs in the future. 

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