How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek
Helped Advance Civil Rights
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
(pub.1.17.2023) 40 pages
Author: Angela Dalton
Illustrator: Lauren Semmer
Character: Nichelle Nichols
" To Boldly Go tells the true story of Nichelle Nichols and how she used her platform on tells the true story of Nichelle Nichols and how she used her platform on to inspire and recruit a new generation of diverse astronauts and many others in the space and STEM fields.
As Lieutenant Uhura on the iconic prime-time television show Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols played the first Black female astronaut anyone had ever seen on screen. A smart, strong, independent Black woman aboard the starship Enterprise was revolutionary in the 1960s when only white men had traveled to outer space in real life and most Black characters on TV were servants.
Nichelle not only inspired a generation to pursue their dreams, but also opened the door for the real-life pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, Dr. Mae Jemison, and more.
This empowering tribute to the trailblazing pop culture icon reminds us of the importance of perseverance and the power of representation in storytelling. You just might be inspired to boldly go where no one like you has ever gone before!"
" We watched to see Lieutenant Uhura perform her duties as the starship's communications officer.
Lieutenant Uhura was played by actress Nichelle Nichols, and we burst with pride seeing someone who looked like us standing as an equal to make the future better for everyone. This was important not just to my family but for all Black people, because our reality told a very different story."
And something more: Angela Dalton, in the Author's Note, writes: "When Star Trek first aired in 1966, I hadn't been born yet. But by the time I was seven, watching reruns with my parents was as much of a treat as drinking red Kool-Aid (though I got to watch way more Star Trek than drink Kool-Aid). Back then, I knew why I got excited when Star Trek came on - it was about the future and exploring different galaxies and plantets - but I didn't understand the hold it had over my mom and dad.
Now... I understand my parents' sense of pride. They were finally seeing themselves being represented with dignity to millions of white people and embracing the idea that each of us can be significant in ways we may not know...
Nichelle Nichols isn't just an actress; she is the embodiment of promise and strength for so many people. I hope in reading her story you will be inspired to dream big, believe in the importance of those dreams, and 'boldy go' wherever they may take you."