The American actress Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role in the 1960s science fiction TV series Star Trek, died last weekend at the age of 89.
She became a great actress, and then a really important figure, who not only marked history in the entertainment world but also in society, well due to her appearance in film and television she broke the racial stereotypes in the United States, including all the casting black and other minority actors in high-profile roles, being one of the first black actresses in America, playing Nyota Uhura, a character in a position of authority on the television series called “Star Trek”.
Uhura, the name of the character she played, was a competent and rational communications officer, going against the formulas and clichés of the time.
Nichelle Nichols had a lot of fans and followers who admired her due to her great job acting and also due to what she meant to the standards of those years; nevertheless, there were always some people who were against her, keeping a cruel, unfair, and racist perspective.
In her role as Lieutenant Uhura, she participated in the first interracial kiss in US television history between two fictional characters. The scene caused angry protests, although the kiss was the result of extraterrestrial mind control of the characters in the series and not the product of a romantic or romantic relationship between the two. The episode was not broadcast on television in some southern cities due to protests in those states. The episode’s cancellation caused many fans to protest; some spectators in the southern states were not as hostile as feared.
Her acting was called by Martin Luther King the first non-stereotypical role played by a black woman in television history, who, at the same time, convinced her to not abandon the tv program.
Also, in her 1994 autobiography, Beyond Uhura, Star Trek, and Other Memories, Nichols cites a letter from a southern white man who wrote to him: “I am opposed to racial mixing. However, any time a bloody American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful lady in his arms who looks like Uhura, he shouldn’t let her go.” During her appearance on Comedy Central on August 20, 2006, she referred to the incident and told the host, “Let’s make TV history again…and you can kiss my black ass!”
Unfortunately, after several controversies, the “Star Trek” series was ultimately canceled Nichelle, however, remained relevant, as she volunteered for a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency, which turned out to be a success. The actress kept on working with the National Space Society, an educative and no lucrative organization in defense of space.
The passing of Nichelle Nichols, this great figure, brings the memory of the impact, change, meaning and fight that this actress carried out through her role as an actress, what this represented, the consequences it had at the time, and beyond, the work she continued to do in the hearts of many people and women, mainly black or “inferior”, giving them strength and determination to be equally heard and highlighted.