The US Mint will start producing coins which feature the Asian American film star, Anna May Wong. The actress broke into Hollywood during the silent film period and she is now the first Asian American to feature on US currency.
The quarter is not only honouring the career of Wong but the struggles she encountered in getting good roles in Hollywood in an era of “yellowface” and anti-miscegenation laws.
The image of Anna May Wong features her iconic flapper-era bangs and pencil-thin eyebrows. She spent her life battling prevailing attitudes and discrimination. She appeared in more than 60 movies.
The coin, which is framed by dots, represents marquee lights.
In a press release, Emily Damstra, the designer of the count said, “Many prominent actors from the 1920s and 1930s saw their name framed by lightbulbs on movie theatre marquees, so I thought it made sense to feature Anna May Wong in this way.”
She added, “Along with the hard work, determination, and skill Anna May Wong brought to the profession of acting, I think it was her face and expressive gestures that really captivated movie audiences, so I included these elements next to her name.”
The coin includes the words, ‘quarter dollar’ and a Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.”
The coin’s reverse side has George Washington’s face. As reported by New York Times, the U.S. Mint is expected to create more than 300 million Wong quarters.
She was born in 1905 in Chinatown. At the age of 14, she made her first film appearance in 1919’s’ ‘The Red Lantern. Her breakthrough role was in the 1922 silent drama, “The Toll of the Sea.”
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