January162011
For MLK Day: ‘Lt. Uhura’ On How Rev. King Told Her To Stay On ‘Star Trek’
The nation honors the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. And among NPR’s offerings that day will be a fascinating story from actress Nichelle Nichols — known to fans around the world as “Lt. Uhura” on the original Star Trek TV series and six of the later big-screen movies based on that vision of the future.
Star Trek went on the air in 1966. Tell Me More host Michel Martin spoke with Nichols about how the actress almost left the show after one season to return to her first love — the musical stage.
But at an NAACP dinner in Los Angeles, Nichols says, King told her he was her biggest fan. When Nichols (who has shared this story before, including in her autobiography) told King she was planning to leave the show, he told her she couldn’t do that.
  Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Nichols says King told her, was showing the nation a universe where ” ‘for the first time, we [African-Americans] are being seen the world over … as we should be seen’.” And ” ‘you have created a character’ ” that is critical to that, he said.
King also told her that ” ‘this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch.” …
{Click the photo to continue reading.}

For MLK Day: ‘Lt. Uhura’ On How Rev. King Told Her To Stay On ‘Star Trek’

The nation honors the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. And among NPR’s offerings that day will be a fascinating story from actress Nichelle Nichols — known to fans around the world as “Lt. Uhura” on the original Star Trek TV series and six of the later big-screen movies based on that vision of the future.

Star Trek went on the air in 1966. Tell Me More host Michel Martin spoke with Nichols about how the actress almost left the show after one season to return to her first love — the musical stage.

But at an NAACP dinner in Los Angeles, Nichols says, King told her he was her biggest fan. When Nichols (who has shared this story before, including in her autobiography) told King she was planning to leave the show, he told her she couldn’t do that.

  Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Nichols says King told her, was showing the nation a universe where ” ‘for the first time, we [African-Americans] are being seen the world over … as we should be seen’.” And ” ‘you have created a character’ ” that is critical to that, he said.

King also told her that ” ‘this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch.” …

{Click the photo to continue reading.}

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