Nichelle Nichols Dies

As a Star Trek fan, I think it would be remiss of me not to note the sad death of Nichelle Nichols. The truth is, having been born in 1983, I am one of those Trekkies who came to Star Trek through The Next Generation, and never really watched The Original Series. However, I know full well the cultural impact TOS had, and that the importance casting of Nichols as part of the command crew of the Enterprise cannot be over-stated. For Gene Roddenberry to show a society as racially divided as America was in the sixties a vision of the future where black people could hold just as much status and authority as white people was truly commendable. Thus what Nichols did by appearing on the series was nothing less than revolutionary: it was a game changer, the impact of which is still being felt today.

Alas, we have lost another of the greats. Of course, I know the character Uhura primarily through the Star Trek films which came out in the Eighties. Yet those films were a huge part of my childhood: I love them, and how the crew kind of played off one another while retaining their own characteristics, rather like a family. That crew is now slowly leaving us, one by one, but they leave behind a cultural legacy which is surely beyond comparison.

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