When “Star Trek” began in 1966, Nichols was a television rarity: a Black woman in a notable role on a prime-time television series. There had been African-American women on TV before, but they often played domestic workers and had small roles; Nichols’ Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural “Star Trek” crew.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called it “the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history.”
In fact, it was King who convinced Nichols of the importance of her work on Star Trek. Nichols also broke ground for television's first scripted interracial kiss. After Star Trek, Nichols worked for NASA to recruit women and minorities as astronauts, engineers, and administrators.
We lived long and prospered together. pic.twitter.com/MgLjOeZ98X— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 31, 2022
Y’all, @nichelleisuhuru.— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) July 31, 2022
Heartbroken at the news of her passing, however, I am comforted in the knowledge that she illuminated the way for so of us many with her grace, beauty, talent, intelligence and her commitment to humanity going boldly to the stars! #godess #queen
We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars. pic.twitter.com/pmQaKDb5zw— NASA (@NASA) July 31, 2022
Nichelle Nichols was The First. She was a trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace, and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.— Kate Mulgrew (@TheKateMulgrew) July 31, 2022
May she Rest In Peace. #NichelleNichols pic.twitter.com/DONSz6IV2b
Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation. Nichelle Nichols showed us the extraordinary power of Black women and paved the way for a better future for all women in media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you. pic.twitter.com/KhUf4YM6pX— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) July 31, 2022
One of my most treasured photos - Godspeed to Nichelle Nichols, champion, warrior and tremendous actor. Her kindness and bravery lit the path for many. May she forever dwell among the stars. #RIPNichelle #Uhura pic.twitter.com/nFXHif8HEC— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) July 31, 2022
Nichelle Nichols lived.— Alexandra Erin (She/Her) (@AlexandraErin) July 31, 2022
I like to remember her delivering the greatest comeback in Star Trek history.
Sulu: I'll protect you, fair maiden!
Nichelle Nichols was 89.