Nichelle Nichols remembered for her contributions to representation in media and space travel

Nichelle Nichols made history for her role as communications officer Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek.

On the Monday edition of “Closer Look,” critically acclaimed author, filmmaker and Afro-futurist scholar Ytasha Womack discusses the legacy of trailblazing actress Nichelle Nichols. Nichols died Saturday, July 30, aged 89.

Known by many for her role as Nyota Uhura in the original”Star Trek” series, Nichols played a pivotal role in the fabric of media during the Civil Rights Movement. The first Black woman to play a lead role in a television series and among the first women depicted as a scientist in space, her innovative contributions to the field opened a realm of possibility for women, people of color and youth. Nichols later became a key figure in recruiting women and minorities to work with NASA and helped mold the future of space travel.

“You can’t think about science fiction without her name coming up, without her image being one of significance,” Womack said. “She’s so multi-faceted. She took her role seriously and understood the impact. I think that’s something creatives can be inspired by.”