Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura. AP Photo.
We recently lost three giants: Nichelle Nichols, Bill Russell and Mary Alice. Alice starred in countless movies, one of which was the original “Sparkle” where she played the mother of three daughters trying to make it in the music biz. She was also the House Mother on “A Different World.” But more than that, she was greatly respected by her peers. Additionally, the “Lord of the Rings,” Bill Russell made his transition. If you measure greatness by championships alone, who was better? Russell was undefeated in “winner-take-all” games (11-0, NBA; 9-0, NCAA; and 2-0, Olympics). But more than that, it was his constant stance for Black people that made him a giant among men. And speaking of giants, it’s impossible to calculate the impact Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Nyota Upenda Uhua, had on the culture. Beyond being fine as “all-da-be-dayyum,” her leadership role on the Star Ship Enterprise during a late 60s opened the minds of countless Black boys and girls to finally see themselves “going where no one has gone before.” Safe passage, all.
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