As a crazy Trekkie fan all my life, I want to acknowledge the life of Nichelle Nichols and her role as the famous Lieutenant Uhura. She passed away on Saturday, July 30 at the age of 89.
I have seen all the original Star Trek episodes many times and have memorized many of the lines, due to the sheer repetition of watching this TV series. As I write this, I can’t help but smile throughout for what this actress brought to the show, to all of us, and the world.
LT Uhura sang beautifully in episodes and was going to leave the show after the first year to go to Broadway. Can you image Star Trek without her?
Here is her beautiful voice as Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) sings “Beyond Antares.” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjE4yHQ5ENU)
In the hours after her death was announced, versions of the often-recounted story of her exchange with Martin Luther King Jr. at an NAACP event, was widely circulated. As the story goes, near the end of the first season of “Star Trek,” she was offered a role in a Broadway-bound stage production.
“I was a singer on stage long before I was an actress, and Broadway was always a dream to me. I was ready to leave ‘Star Trek’ and pursue what I’d always wanted to do.”
Gene Roddenberry asked Nichols to take the weekend to think about her decision to quit. That same weekend she met Martin Luther King Jr., who informed the actor that he was a “Trekkie” and that “Star Trek” was the only show he allowed his children to stay up and watch.
When she mentioned she was set to leave the show, Nichols recalls King’s face growing solemn. “You cannot. You cannot.” he insisted, according to her recollection of their interaction. “. . .Don’t you understand what this man has achieved? . . . For the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be seen every day, as intelligent, quality, beautiful people who can sing and dance, but who can go to space. Who can be lawyers, who can be teachers, who can be professors – who are, in this day, and yet you don’t see it on television until now.”
A 1968 episode of Star Trek, “Plato’s Stepchildren,” which first aired on November 22, 1968, is often referred to as having the first interracial kiss on television, the one between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain Kirk.
This opened the door and took the lid off of the suppression regarding any race, colour, or creed, showing that all peoples are free and equal! Alas, we owe a lot more than people know to Nichelle Nichols, and we’re happy she didn’t quit her role!
In the episode “Mirror, Mirror,” this same Lieutenant slapped Mr. Sulu, and she showed everyone the strength of her character, that she could take care of herself. You can see the episode here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CJdFppsHeo
In the episode, “Bread and Circuses,” she was the one to clarify to the Command Team on the bridge a point of total confusion they all shared.
Here’s the transcript:
Spock: [referring to Flavius] “I wish we could’ve examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to develop a philosophy of total brotherhood. Sun worship is usually a primitive superstition religion.”
Uhura: “I’m afraid you have it all wrong, Mr. Spock, all of you. I’ve been monitoring some of their old-style radio waves, the empire spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn’t. Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God.”
Capt. Kirk: “Caesar – and Christ. They had them both. And the word is spreading… only now.”
Dr. McCoy: “A philosophy of total love and total brotherhood.”
Spock: “It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in the twentieth century.”
Capt. Kirk: “Wouldn’t it be something to watch, to be a part of? To see it happen all over again? Mr. Chekov, take us out of orbit. Ahead warp factor one.”
Chekov: “Aye, sir.”
Here’s the clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNfTwGu9FpU.
Our current Uhura, Zoe Saldana, posted:
“It’ll be hard to forget what she said and hard to forget what she did, and it will certainly be impossible to forget how she made us feel.”
She concluded the post: “REST IN POWER QUEEN NICHELLE.”
Whoppie Goldberg said, “Nichele Nichols was a trailblazer, a heroine, and an extraordinary woman — somebody who inspired millions and millions of people, but who inspired me because I explained when I went to get my gig at Star Trek that Nichelle was the first Black person I’d ever seen who made it to the future.”
My takeaways that we can all apply to our business and our lives:
- Don’t be afraid of taking on a challenge.
- Take the weekend to think about it before quitting what might be a life changing role.
- Use your role to change people’s lives and make a better world.
- Promote what you believe in.
- Use your role as a stepping stone or platform to build even better things.
At DIT Web Solutions we will help you promote any goal or help you with any challenge you have with Search Engine Marketing, Social Media, Google Ads, and more. We can build you a custom app that will get your message out to millions. We will give you that weekend and more, and will be an ear and guiding team to help you.
Give me a call for a free consultation. Let’s promote your business to the top and help to make a better world, just like Nichele Nichols did.
Book your free Strategy Chat with Senior Partner,