By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C, Weds. Feb. 8 2023: A famous Black, Caribbean and Latina immigrant, who passed away in 2003, is making history again – this time as the first Afro Latina and Black immigrant to appear on a US quarter.

The U.S. Mint is honoring the late Cuban-born, Grammy-winning star, Celia Cruz, with a quarter of her own. She is one of five honorees who are a part of the American Women Quarters Program for 2024. The program, which began in 2022 and runs until 2025, celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of American women.

Cuban-American Salsa singer Celia Cruz (1925 – 2003) is set to appear on a US quarter, the first Black, Caribbean, Latina immigrant, to do so. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Other honorees for 2024 include Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War surgeon and suffragist; Pauli Murray, a civil rights activist and lawyer; and Zitkala-Ša, a voting rights activist from the Yankton Sioux Nation.

Cruz recorded over 80 albums, earned 23 gold records, won five Grammy Awards, and received the president’s National Medal of Arts. She was born in 1925 in Havana. She initially made a splash in Cuba as the lead singer for the country’s most popular orchestra, La Sonora Matancera. After the Cuban Revolution, she immigrated to the U.S. in 1961 and helped define the sound of the salsa music we know and love today. Her energetic stage presence, extravagant costumes and incredible voice made her a household name during her more than 60-year career. She died in 2003 at the age of 77.

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