The true story of MLK and Lt. Uhura

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By Savas Abadsidis

On this day that marks the historic contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, we’d like to offer you this wonderful heartwarming piece of history that reveals some of the humanity and far reaching impact of Dr. King.

Uhura on the Enterprise

Uhura on the Enterprise

Last week, I interviewed actress and performer Nichelle Nichols for an upcoming new magazine called KISS, which will also feature work by Eric Francis. Nichelle has an upcoming one woman show called ‘Reflections’, wherein she becomes eight legendary African-American performers including Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson, Sara Vaughn, Etta James and Lady Day among others. The show is a tour of American history through their music with brief monologues to put them in context.

Nichelle herself has made history over the years, playing the role of Lt. Commander (later Commander) Uhura on the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed Star Trek TV show and series of movies. Nichols was among the first prominent African American actors to regularly appear on a network TV show in a capacity  other than a maid or subservient role to a white character. Yes, Kirk was in command, but we also know that he had respectful relationships with his crew; that he viewed them as colleagues and was respected by them as their leader.

Nichols would go on and serve as a spokesperson for NASA and the NAACP, and literally be the inspiration for hundreds of African-Americans to join NASA. Among these was Mae Jamison, whom Nichols met when Jamison was at Cornell Medical School and who Nichols personally inspired to become an astronaut upon completion of her medical degree.

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Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

Planet Waves began in 1998 as the home of the Eric Francis horoscope, a prominent feature in our premium service. Going far beyond what most Sun-sign astrologers even dream is possible, Eric brings in-depth interpretations to his work. He is a pioneer in the newly-discovered planets, including Chiron and the centaurs, and is able to translate their movements into accessible human terms, offering ideas for life, love and work. Discover a whole new world of literary journalism in Planet Waves. We offer free trial subscriptions, discounts for students and seniors, and gift subscriptions for veterans and those on active military duty.
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7 Responses to The true story of MLK and Lt. Uhura

  1. yeldell11 says:

    @jlo: i think i love you.

  2. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    “…that reveals some of the humanity and far reaching impact of Dr. King.”


    What MLK did in asking her to stay was recognition of the power of the media and of important, positive images as role models that do have profound effect on individuals, society and culture.

    MLK knew what he was doing. He was fighting for the future and Nichelle played a key role in that fight.

    This is why many of us who grew up in that era are truly astounded by what happened even in that short period of time 1967-68. We moved ourselves through pretty tough obstacles and we did it through vision and creativity. This is the key factor for now.

  3. Kyla says:

    yes thank you, this is beautiful to know.

  4. stormilarue stormilarue says:

    tho i’d heard this story before, this brought occular leakage for me as well Fe. tears & cheers in solidarity!

  5. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:


    You so nailed this. I don’t know why, but I am weeping.

    Maybe its because everything we fight for must include a vision of the future, which makes this interview very very important, and what we do here crucial.

    Thank you sweetheart. This came at just the right time.

  6. jlo says:

    Exactly, the Universe is strange, and timing is perfect.. don’t forget it. Karma exists in the now and ripples like shockwaves, water. Ego/Cosmic, the land is liquid-fire, ready to be smelted by gentle hands. Kind hands. (I used to bag on myself in the mid-nineties that a good war would bring us closer together, some good old fashioned suffering.. I’m sorry I was correct. Now I know, I just want to move on with making good shit happen. No more violence and inane bigotry’s.)

    I’ve got a few years (perhaps/longest) ’til I’m able to throw out land to be LIVED with. ‘Til then, after this year of reconciliation, it’s making sure others have a SURPLUS to provide for the larger whole, that the networking of LIFE begins/continues with every individual who chooses to throw in a little elbow grease… into the system, and make this planetoid a more kick-ass place!

    Even food, or herbs.. I’ve a motor-home, and I’m hookin’ up lights to get some sustenance runnin’. I want to collect some good endangered species of plant matter (SO, if ya got somethin’ cool, that needs to be grown.. kick-down! I’ve space and time.) ..And my thumb is pretty damned green!

    Peace, ’til all flows merge!

    Luv ya,

    Jere Loscutoff

  7. Judith says:

    Beauty! Credit Nichelle as well with the first [almost] black/white interracial kiss on television … and Rodenberry for his vision.

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