News Release

Maya Angelou, the Quarter and Real Change


KALI HOLLOWAY,, @kalihollowayftw
Holloway is a monthly columnist for both The Nation and The Daily Beast. She is the former director of the Make it Right Project, a national initiative dedicated to taking down Confederate monuments and telling the truth about history. She is also lead vocalist for the band Easy Lover and is currently working on her first book, The Secret Racist History of Everything.

She said today: “Maya Angelou was a brilliant poet, a visionary writer, and an icon to those of us gifted with her words; for all of those reasons, her legacy and impact should be celebrated and commemorated. But I suspect that Dr. Angelou, an outspoken activist for the liberation of black folks, would question her placement on the same coin as a man who stole even the teeth of those he enslaved. I believe she would recognize the irony of America’s willingness to put a black woman on its money, even as it refuses to address the tenfold wealth gap between black and white families, or to provide recompense for centuries of state-backed anti-black racism. To be clear, representation matters, and Dr. Angelou represents the best of this country. But to genuinely reckon with anti-black racism and misogynoir, we need to not only change our narratives, monuments and currency, but to do so as part of a larger effort to create substantive social justice change.”