Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Quick MIBDH*

Yesterday I went to my favorite local, closeout retailer/discount store, Big Lots (well... not really my favorite, but I went there looking for blank CDs). Instead of finding the needed CD's, I found a 6-inch Lt. Uhura action figure like the one pictured above for $5. I couldn't leave her there. She will complement dolls/action figures that preceded her in the collection.  These include the 2009 Lt. Uhura doll by Mattel fashioned after the lovely Zoe Saldana's role in the movie, Star Trek (2009), and the 1996 action figure Lt. Uhura by Playmates inspired by the original Lt. Uhura TV character portrayed by the still lovely Nichelle Nichols.

At the end of Star Trek's first season, Nichelle was thinking seriously [about] leaving the show, but a chance and moving meeting with [Dr.] Martin Luther King, [Jr.] changed her mind. He told her she couldn't give up...she was a vital role model for young black women in America. Needless to say, Nichelle stayed with the show and has appeared in [the] first six Star Trek movies. She also provided the voice for Lt. Uhura on the Star Trek animated series [from] 1974-75.
Nichols' chance meeting with Dr. King is further described at as follows:

She considered quitting Star Trek midway through its first season, when her character had been given little to do beyond perpetually opening hailing frequencies. In one interview, she famously described Uhura as "a glorified telephone operator in space". Then, at a civil rights protest, she met Martin Luther King Jr. -- who told her that he was a big fan of Star Trek. According to Nichols, when she told King she was thinking of quitting the show, he was shocked. "Don't you know you have the first non-stereotypical role in television?" she recalls King saying. "For the first time the world will see us as we should be seen -- people of quality in the future. You created a role with dignity and beauty and grace and intelligence. You're not just a role model for our children, but for people who don't look like us to see us for the first time as equals."

For more information on Nichelle Nichols, visit her official website or her page on (from which the first quote was gleaned).


PS:  Was Mattel inspired by Nichelle Nichols when naming their friend-of-Barbie, Nichelle?

*Moments in Black Doll History
:-) ◦

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