Tributes Go Out to Late Star Trek Icon Nichelle Nichols

Tributes Go Out to Late Star Trek Icon Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols became a pop-culture icon when she played Uhura in the original Star Trek, and fans were saddened to learn of her passing over the weekend. Now tributes are going out to Nichols online, celebrating her legacy in feminism and Black-American culture.

Nichols was said to have passed last Saturday, and her son Kyle Johnson was the one who wrote the announcement (via THR):

“Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration… Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”

As communications officer Lt. Uhura, Nichols was able to be an icon when it came to the screen, pushing the envelope for women and Black-Americans. Probably the most popular feat of Nichols as Uhura was her kiss with William Shatner, which took place a year after the US Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage.

Though the Star Trek icon may be gone, the character of Uhura manages to live on. Celia Rose Gooding plays cadet Uhura in the prequel Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Zoe Saldana—undoubtedly the most popular woman in science fiction—plays Uhura in Trek’s Kelvin Timeline.

Nichols will be greatly missed, but she can rest easy knowing that she helped cultivate a more tolerant and inclusive society.

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