If you’ve been a Star Trek fan for any length of time, chances are that by now you’ve heard Trek legend Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original series and the first six feature films, tell one very specific story many times. This would be her famous anecdote of how she once almost quit the series, but was convinced otherwise by one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a pretty great story to be honest, but even if you’ve heard Nichols tell it before, you’ve never heard it told quite like this.
Thanks to io9, we’ve learned that the producers of Comedy Central’s Drunk History recently got comedian Ashley Nicole Black to get a wee bit tipsy and recount Nichelle’s historic run-in with Martin Luther King Jr., and not only did she tell the story of their historic chance encounter, but she also elaborated on Nichelle Nichol’s role in making sure the first ever interracial kiss made it on the air. And yes, that’s Raven Symone as Nichols, and Jaleel White from Family Matters as Dr.King.
Ashley Nicole Black even gets into Nichelle Nichol’s huge contribution to the real space program, where she was recruited by NASA to lead a recruitment program for women and minorities to become astronauts. Among these astronauts were famous names like Sally Ride, the first woman in space, Guion Bluford, the first African-American man in space, and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space. Getting to be a vital part of the crew of the Enterprise is cool, but helping recruit all these people into NASA? What a mic-drop on an amazing career. “Hailing frequencies closed” indeed.
Were you aware of Nichelle Nichol’s amazing contributions to promoting civil rights? Give us your thoughts down below in the comments.
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