Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Littlest Uhura

I'm sure by now most of you have seen this awesome illustration by M. Steffens about the importance of seeing a black Lieutenant Uhura on TV by a young Whoopie Goldberg.
"Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on, 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.” — Whoopi Goldberg

And it's pretty safe to assume Nichelle Nichols was aware of how important her role would be before she even accepted it. She certainly was aware shortly after, when none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. came to chat with her.

By the 1970s, she was already using her celebrity to further the cause of women in the sciences and space exploration, with a particular focus of getting more women of color involved.

In fact, in the four decades since the first episode of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols has never really stopped using her role as Uhura as a way to inspire people.

And she's still at it! While it could be argued that her visits to conventions is simply about contracts and financial gain for some celebrities, in this case I highly doubt it. Here is a woman who could easily rest on her accomplishments and spend her time relaxing at home. Instead, she's out there greeting the public. And thus, expanding her influence to new generations. Just take a look at this fantastic photo of her with the most adorable Uhura ever taken at Grand Rapids Comic Con in October 2014!

I just love this photo. This little cutie looks so thrilled in her adorable Communications Officer outfit with her little away bag.

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