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Thread: Nichelle Nichols... was the MLK story embellished, or fact?

  1. #1
    kschang is offline Senior Scambuster
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    May 2012

    Nichelle Nichols... was the MLK story embellished, or fact?

    Nichelle "Lt. Uhura" Nichols was famous for her Star Trek role, but in last 10 or so years she starts telling this story about how MLKjr convinced her to stay on Star Trek.

    Is it true though?

    The Kirkus Review dated 2001 of her 1994 autobiography made no mention of the incident. I am going to see if there's a copy in the library.

    The Pittsburgh Gazette ran an article that said the story was a "What If..." scenario in a Discovery mini-series, where MLKjr did not get assassinated, but instead, was elected president. Nichols appeared in the program "better suited for Saturday Night Live", according to the writer.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search

    yet in 2010, she said she wanted "the real story" to be told, that MLKjr was a great fan, and persuaded her to stay.

    The true story of MKL and Lt. Uhura

    Real, or fake?

    Or does it matter?
    A MLM Skeptic (not a Cynic) covering scams, critical thinking, and psychology

  2. #2
    GlimDropper's Avatar
    GlimDropper is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Nichelle Nichols... was the MLK story embellished, or fact?

    Well of course it matters if it's true but some times it's more important in how it may be true.

    I'm a big Star Trek fan, I've consumed about every hour of every iteration of the franchise (except Enterprise, which is better forgotten). And it is true that in the late 1960's Nichelle Nichols' role as Lt. Uhura spoke to a future where racism and sexism were no longer a barrier for intelligent and competent people being recognized for their abilities. That was significant and important.

    I tread the line between being a critic and a skeptic, in my day to day life I'm far more cheerful than the subject matter on this site generally warrants but that being said I think the moment in time when a personal fault in one of my heroes could stun me is pretty far in my rear view mirror. We all have our flaws and for as much of a shock as it may come to some of our readers, I have them too.

    I would be disappointed if it were proven than Miss Nichols' account of her meeting with Dr. King was substantially incorrect. In the social change that took place in the forty some odd years after the fact it seems like she was just an actor on a show but you can only say that if you don't acknowledge the social change that took place in that time. And in doing so, discounting the role she and the character she played in helping make that change happen. That is the important thing.

    If she embellished on her story, shame on her. But I have seen no evidence that she has. She doesn't need to aggrandize, she's grand enough to begin with.
    So your prophets of finance have fallen on their collective proverbial face, and you hear muffled voices calling: Welcome to the human race.
    You made a killing dealing real estate at NASA selling cemetery plots in outer space til some falling coffins crashed upon your doorstep: Welcome to the human race.

    Open up your heart...

    Welcome to


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