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1) Nichelle Nichols, born in Robbins, Illinois on December 28, 1932 to July 30, 2022 (aged 89), was an American actress, singer, and dancer best known for her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek.
2) Disliking her name, she went with Nichelle, meaning "victorious maiden." She attended Englewood High School, where she graduated in 1951. At age 12, she studied dance at the Chicago Ballet Academy.
3) Nichols began her professional career as a singer and dancer in Chicago. She then toured the United States and Canada with the bands of Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.
4) On Star Trek, Nichols was one of the first Black women featured in a major television series. She was once tempted to leave the series since her role was unprecedented. But MLK encouraged her to stay.
5) After the cancellation of Star Trek, she volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency. She helped run a company, Women in Motion.
6) The program was a success. Among those recruited were Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, & United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut.
Date of Birth