Bridgerton actor Adjoa Andoh talked about how Nichelle Nichols changed her life in a conversation with the Daily Mirror.
Bridgerton has been dubbed a paradigm mover in the field of historical drama. But there are times when we treat diversity and inclusion as if they are something that has never been before. To say the same thing in today’s speech is nothing new.
The first episode of Star Trek aired more than 50 years ago. Gene Roddenberry’s ideal was a place where people of all races might live together in peace.
For me, Nichelle Nichols epitomized that. Nichelle became a cultural icon in addition to her performing abilities.
In the 1960s, watching a black person on television was exhilarating, but seeing yourself reflected at you weekly was even more thrilling as a black child.
I had no recollection of Nichelle when she was a child, but I’m considering pursuing a career in acting. Her clout was far bigger than anyone else’s.
It reassured me, as a young black woman, that I, too, belonged in this story.
You didn’t expect to see a black woman playing the role she did.
There was a time when a black woman couldn’t get the main part in a major motion picture.
Freedom is the Swahili word for Nichelle’s name, “Uhura,” and her ethnicity did not constrain her role on Star Trek.
Like Lady Danbury in Bridgerton, I feel a feeling of emancipation now that I’m on a show with few black performers. It’s difficult to emphasize her impact on me and other young black women.
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I was honored when I met her in London 20 years ago.
I sprinted to the elevator to meet her as she exited the event! This was an opportunity too good to miss.
Throughout my childhood, she was a constant source of inspiration to me. She was thoughtful and kind, and she appeared to grasp the concept.
As a TV star, Nichelle knew that what she was doing was more than just acting.
Perhaps her most important accomplishment was in providing hope and inspiration to generations of young black women like myself in the 1960s.
Since my parents are both white and my father is black, the 1968 airing of the kiss between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain Kirk was revolutionary for me. Before this, there have only been a temporary ban on interracial relationships.
Even though we are breaking down barriers, we are doing it on the necks of those who arrived before us.