Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, which was chosen for the premiere screening of a new indie film "The Guest at Central Park West", which deals with racial themes. Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols was on hand and while at the premiere she told her famous story about meeting Dr. King and how he convinced her to stay with Star Trek. We have photos from the event plus excerpts of a new interview.
Nichelle on MLK day
On Monday evening on January 18th 2010 prior to the screening of "The Guest At The Central Park West" at The Writer’s Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, CA. Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols shared her story of how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged her to stay on the show after she had decided to leave the program after one season. The evening benefited the MMPA ( Multicultural Motion Picture Association ) Educational Scholarship Program
Here are photos
Nichelle Nichols attends “The Guest At The Central Park West” Los Angeles premiere at Writer’s Guild Theater on January 18, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
More tellings of the MLK story
The story of MLK and Star Trek is also detailed in a new interview with Nichelle at PlanetWaves, here is an excerpt:
I told him I would be leaving the show, because; and that was as far as he let me go, and he said, “STOP! You cannot! You cannot leave this show! Do you not understand what you are doing?! You are the first non-stereotypical role in television! Of intelligence, and of a woman and a woman of color?! That you are playing a role that is not about your color! That this role could be played by anyone? This is not a black role. This is not a female role! A blue eyed blond or a pointed ear green person could take this role!” And I am looking at him and looking at him and buzzing, and he said, “Nichelle, for the first time, not only our little children and people can look on and see themselves, but people who don’t look like us, people who don’t look like us, from all over the world, for the first time, the first time on television, they can see us, as we should be!
[go to planetwaves.ne for the full story]
story on video
Nichelle has told the story often. Here is video of her at DragonCon 2007 talking about Star Trek and Dr. Martin Luther King (skip to the 5:00 mark to get to the story).
story continues below