Watch: Nichelle Nichols Tells The Story Of How Martin Luther King, Jr. Dissuaded Her From Quitting ‘Star Trek’

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday celebrating the legendary civil rights leader. It is also part of Star Trek lore that he was a fan of the original Star Trek, and especially of Lt. Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols. Nichols has often told the story of how she was going to quit, but Dr. King persuaded her to stay with the show because it was so important to see Black people as an essential part of the optimistic future depicted on the series, especially during the tumultuous times of the 1960s.

In the video below from the Television Academy, Nichols retells the story.


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Thank you TREKMOVIE staff for posting this today.
Abiding love to Nichelle Nichols.

That’s fairly amazing.

Wish they would have put her in charge of the ship sometimes when kirk was on away missions.

This is why everyone needs to see TAS.

There are two episodes in which Uhura has command. In fact, the female characters generally got better profile than on TOS which was targeted to adults.

The Lorelei Syndrome is a DC Fontana script that, I believe, was originally written for TOS. All the men were affected so Uhura, the Caitan lieutenant, Rand and Chappell ran the ship and saved the day.

Instead, with Roddenberry moved on to another series, we got the appalling Turnabout Intruder which left an impression that women weren’t fit for captaincy.

Good episode, but I don’t recall Rand (neither actress Grace Lee Whitney nor the character of Janice Rand herself) appearing on the animated Trek. Just curious.

You’re right. I should have looked it up before posting.

Rand was one of the characters they couldn’t afford to include.

And the Lorelei Signal was written by Margaret Armen not Fontana.