When Ms. Nichols was cast by Gene Roddenberry to create Chief Communications Officer Lt. Uhura, fourth in command of the Starship Enterprise, in his legendary TV series Star Trek – in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King – it became “The first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a black woman in television history.”
In 1992, she became the first African-American to place her handprints and signature in the cement walk at the famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre along with her other command crew members of the Starship Enterprise. They were also honored in a special exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, an unprecedented accolade for the entertainment industry.
Ms. Nichols’ public service activities have been equally outstanding. Working with NASA in the late ‘70’s, she successfully recruited the first women and minority astronauts for the Space Shuttle Program, for which she received NASA’s distinguished Public Service Award. She continues to be a close friend and staunch supporter of Dr. Mae Jemison who first saw Lt. Uhura when she was nine years old and was determined to follow her dream to become the first woman of color Astronaut…which she did.