When I was growing up, back when dirt was young and dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I only had three women on TV who I could look up to, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Uhura. Star Trek was a huge part of my childhood, it was on everyday at 6pm on channel 2 in the SF Bay Area, and I would sit on the couch next to my dad and we would watch it. There were very few black people in my town as I was growing up, so Uhura fulfilled a dual role for me, not only was she was a woman on TV I could look up to, but she was also one of the few POC I regularly saw. Thanks to her I saw that WOC could shoot a phaser with the best of them and repair a communications array under fire. She was never a damsel in distress, she was a full fledged crew member who had the respect of her coworkers. When I stop and think about it, it’s depressing just how few women we have like this on TV even today.
To celebrate her birthday, here is a video where Nichelle talks about a young skin head she met in England. SPOILER: She had a huge impact on him. Everyone loves Nichelle!