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Nichelle Nichols: Beyond Uhura Comic-Con 2017 Anti-Bullying Panel Member

September 15, 2017

Nichelle Nichols



















She is a s beautiful as ever. Nichelle Nichols  is the original Star Trek TV series and film character Lieutenant Commander Uhura. Her portrayal filled the screen with beauty, poise and sophistication.

Nicholes’ breakout role generated much discussion when she first appeared. Her character had a rich back story.

Gene(Rodenberry) and I agreed that  she would be a citizen of the United States of Africa. And her Name, Uhura, is derived from Uhuru, which is Swahili for “freedom.” According to the biography that Gene and I developed for my character, Uhura was far more than an intergalactic telephone operator. As head of communications, she commanded a corps of largely unseen communications technicians, linguists, and other specialists who worked in the bowels of the Enterprise, in the “comm-center.” A linguistics scholar and a top graduate of Starfleet Academy, she was a protegee of Mr. Spock, whom she admired for his daring, his intelligence, his stoicism, and especially his logic.1


Nichelle Nichols on the TV series Star Trek


Her presence inspired young women and girls of all races. In her autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories, Nichols reveals her realization that there was a lack of minority presence in the United States early space program.

No offense to those fine brave men, but if we tell our children that they can be all they dream, why weren’t there women and minority astronauts? Thousands of fans wrote thanking me for Uhura’s inspiration. Little Black girls and boys, Latino and Asian children had a legitimate right to share in the dream. Things had to change.2

In the next 15 years, as she transitioned from Star Trek the TV series to Star Trek movies, Nichelle Nichols created Women in Motion, Inc. and worked on several government contracts including several  for Nasa with a unique focus on the astronaut-recruitment project.3

She influenced African American astronaut Dr.Mae Jemison   and other minorities to consider science and space as a career option.

So, what is Nichelle Nichols doing now? According to this various news stories during San Diego Comic-Con 2017, she is part of a super hero coalition that creating a lot of internet media buzz with their Anti-Bullying campaign.

And the message that a positive, healing, self-affirming nurturing spiritual revolution  may be what is needed to save so many from negative affects from bullying’s toxicity is also generating major new station coverage.

An inspiration to 1960s Afro-futurist youth and a diversity of others  as Lt. Commander Uhura, Nichelle Nichols continues to engage, inspire, and unite beyond Star Trek.

Nichelle Nichols:
inspiration to generations








Thinking back to the early years of Star Trek, my dad did not watch much television other than the news, nature shows, and sports. He enjoyed tinkering around the garage or tending his vegetable garden in a plot of land on the side of the house. Older siblings were too busy with their social life for television. They didn’t sit down with me and watch the show.

My mom however, would sit beside me almost every week when Star Trek came on. We talked back and forth about characters, settings, and plots. We talked especially about Lt. Uhura  from hairstyles and costuming, to her competency at the console.  Lt. Commander Uhura was new, fresh Black woman in outer space. That concept thrilled my mom.  Nichelle Nichols beyond small and big screen stardom is a woman to admire.

Musewoman, Delores Fisher

Delores Fisher Blogger/Lecturer















1. Nichelle Nichols Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994),  144-145.

2. Ibid., pg. 211

3. Ibid., pg 213


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