Nichelle Nichols, best known for her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, passed away on Saturday, a family spokesperson said on Sunday.
Her presence as one of the USS Enterprise’s heroic bridge officers was groundbreaking in 1966.
As an 11-year-old Whoopi Goldberg famously called out to her mother, “There’s a Black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!” After completing the original show’s three seasons, Nichols continued her portrayal in a short-lived animated show in the early 1970s, and in a succession of six films from 1979 to 1991. She was 89 years old at the time of her death.
Born in 1932 in a suburb of Chicago, Nichols began her career as a singer and dancer, touring with both Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton’s bands. She appeared at the legendary Blue Angel club in New York, as well as the Playboy Club, and was in a production of Carmen Jones in Chicago. She also had an uncredited role as a dancer in Otto Preminger’s 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess.
Neo-Nazis and Proud Boys are targeting libraries, as legislators and conservative lobby groups are trying to remove books from shelves and change how library board members are appointed
Last month, I went to a library in more or less the exact middle of America, and everyone was there – kids, elderly people, students of all ethnicities and ability levels – quietly doing their own thing, together.
A librarian interviewed me in an elegant amphitheater in front of Kansas City residents. We spoke about immigration, politics and the climate crisis and managed to laugh a lot too. Some audience members challenged my views, and we talked it out right there. We had a frank and fun conversation in a public space, free to all, and streamed live for people who couldn’t make it to the library that day. I only later thought about how rare that is – and how profound.