Everything You Need To Know About Nichelle Nichols, The Trailblazing Star Trek Actress And Civil Rights Advocate, Who Recently Passed Away At 89

You may know Nichelle Nichols for her iconic portrayal of Nyota Uhura in the legendary Star Trek series.

But, the beloved American actress, dancer, and singer who made history on screen also broke down racial barriers in the field of science.

Nichelle was born Grace Dell Nichols on December 28, 1932, in Robbins, Illinois. Then, at the age of only fifteen, her exorbitant talent was recognized by American composer Duke Ellington.

Shortly afterward, she adopted the name Nichelle and launched her career by touring the country with Ellington’s band as a singer.

Afterward, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her entertainment dreams and went on to model, become a stage actress, and also land some smaller television roles.

Then, the star made her big break and landed the role of Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek in 1966. Nichelle quickly stole the hearts of American viewers nationwide throughout her three-year stint on the show.

But, her dedication to tearing down stereotypes of Black women did not stop within the entertainment industry. Nichelle also broke new ground for women of color pursuing careers in STEM.

In 1977, NASA asked Nichelle to be the spokesperson for a recruitment campaign aimed at diversifying the administration’s workforce.

NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is Nichelle

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