The American Women Quarters Program features notable women on U.S. currency who were pioneers in their fields. Anna May Wong, an early movie star, is the first Asian American to be featured on U.S. currency through the American Women Quarters Program, according to CNN.
The quarter will begin circulating on Monday and will feature George Washington on one side of the quarter and Wong on the other.
Wong was born in Los Angeles in 1905 and lived in Chinatown during the time Hollywood became a booming industry, according to IMDB.
The actress was selected to be on the quarter for her impact on the early film industry. She advocated for better representation for Asian American actors in films and starred in over 60 movies during her career, per NPR.
Wong is considered to be the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, BBC reports.
She was able to create a sustainable acting career during the 1920s to the ’60s, a racist time period when many films frequently cast white women to play Asian leads, alongside white male leads. White actors would wear makeup and clothes to look more Asian in these roles, also known as “yellow face.”
Wong was an underpaid actress, and landed several roles that were racially stereotyped, NPR reports. She was paid $6,000 in her top billed role in the film “Daughter of the Dragon,” while Warner Oland, a white actor, was paid $12,000 for being in the film for 23 minutes.
Wong was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, according to CNN. She died shortly after in February 1961 at the age of 56.