She sat in that same chair almost every episode, she had almost the same lines in every episode. She was lucky to GET lines in an episode because it was such a small part. Nonetheless this character and the actress who played her: Nichelle Nichols played a major part in smashing down a major barrier on television. Before she came along, Black actresses usually were only cooks or maids on TV. Nichols Uhura character not only broke that mold by not playing to this type on TV but her character, as small as she might have been, got a job on TV where her character had a work station on the command deck of a major space ship working computers. Thats a big deal when you turn back the clock and look.
Uhura was the youngest member of the original Enterprise crew other then maybe Chekov and had a role on the ship as a communications officer. She knew how to repair her equipment and in her off duty she was known for a nice singing voice on a couple of occasions. She was also an important part of Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future of Earth where everyone of race, gender or even alien species would be together in racial harmony and all presented on a television show that was airing brand new at the time of the civil rights movement.
That was Uhura's main job on the show, not always saying "Hailing frequencies open Sir" or "I've lost the transmission Sir." It was making a statement and breaking down a wall. It stinks that she didn't do more on screen since she had a nice personality and could deliver her lines as well as any other member of the crew but as far as episodes were concerned but what she was onscreen was invaluable.
It is difficult to understate the significance of the Uhura character in television and society, both generally and specifically. Up until that time, the general role of black women on television and in movies was as maids. Here was a black woman that was an officer, treated as such and with some spunk. Her pulling of a knife on the lecherous Zulu in "Mirror Mirror" demonstrated that she was a fighter. Her role was so significant to the black community that when Nichelle Nichols … more
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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