ionscifi's picture
Farewell Nichelle
Posted By:

We're very slow getting to this one so it's unlikely news to many readers, but the death of Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols which was reported a few days ago can't go without comment.

Many tributes touch on a Whoopi Goldberg quote which speaks to the time she came into prominence.

When she was a little girl, Goldberg was a big Star Trek fan, because in the 1960s roles for African-Americans on television were scarce and often inconsequential — with Star Trek being an exception. On the U.S.S. Enterprise, the presence of Uhura on the Bridge crew connected with the young Goldberg, and her lifelong love of Star Trek had begun. "Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on," Goldberg says. "I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, 'Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!' I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be."

We are old enough to remember that era of entertainment and how remarkable Uhura's character was.

No the actor isn't the character and Nichelle didn't create Uhura but just like her on-screen counterpart, she performed her role capably.

Being a perfect exemplar is one of the reasons this character was so impactful.

Nichelle played the role for a quarter of a century - beginning on television in 1966 and finishing in cinemas with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991.

Also voicing the character in later video games and two Futurama episodes in 2000 and 2002.

Beyond official works, Nichelle returned to Uhura in fan productions like Star Trek: Renegades (2015-2017) and Star Trek Frontier (2020).

Bringing the full span to fifty-four years.

Thank you Nichelle.

[ Main Image: Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country. Credit: Paramount via ]


Dagen, Carmel (July 31, 2022). Nichelle Nichols, Uhura in ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 89. Variety. Nichelle Nichols. (viewed August 4, 2022) Goldberg. (viewed August 4, 2022)

Wikipedia. Nichelle Nichols. (viewed August 4, 2022)