7 thoughts on “Nichelle Nichols, 1932-2022

  1. Bill Russell  1934 – 2022

    Born and raised in racist Louisiana.  Five-time NBA MVP and 12-time NBA All-Star for the Boston Celtics during the height of Boston racist reaction to school segregation in the 1950's and 1960's.  With pride, intelligence, and dignity he was the first black head coach in the NBA and a leader in black civil rights for the rest of his life.

    R.I.P. – A great person

  2. Role with dignity indeed. IIRC the Star Trek canon, the Communications Officer was more than a glorified switchboard operator. The holder was also the Chief Intelligence Officer on the ship. The only person with a higher security clearance was the Captain. In some cases (acting as a relay for orders or information) the security clearance might exceed that of the Captain.

  3. I've heard a lot of stories about the different cast members from the original Star Trek. Some of them might be true. 🙂 But ALL the stories I heard about Ms. Nichols (in summary form) are that she was a good person. One (likely true) story about being talked into staying on with Star Trek because MLK explained to Ms. Nichols what an important role model she was as a respected black woman in a non-bigoted future.

    Gene Roddenberry thought we humans would outgrow bigotry in time, after blowing up civilization once or twice along the way. We seem to be doing a better job of blowing up the world than we are of shucking prejudice but Ms. Nichols is (forever) an inspiration that we might get it right if we don't lose sight of the vision.  

  4. The first inter-racial kiss shown on American TV was between Uhuru and Captain James Tiberius Kirk!

    I always thought was kinda cool!!! 🙂

  5. "hailing  frequencies are open…"

    In the NYT's obituary, a story Nichelle often told (echoing Doug), was the time she was ready to quit the show  and even spoke to Roddenberry about it. He told her to think about  it for a few days, She then went to some sort of dinner where the host told her that "your biggest fan is here". It was Martin Luther King. He stressed how important her role was for black people, to be seen in such a positive and yet every day kind of light. He said she must continue to play Uhura. She went back to Roddenberry and said she was staying. 

    Obituary said that she and Roddenberry were romantically involved briefly. 


  6. A black person being in such a role was a blast at the time, and Nichols represented well — beautiful, intelligent and a great actress who held her own on the show.  My only disappointment was she wasn't featured even more.

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