"In honor of Black History Month… Today, we honor groundbreaking actress Nichelle Nichols.
Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols on December 28, 1932 in Robbins, Illinois, near Chicago) made her mark as the first African-American woman to be cast in a major television series. Nichols played Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek until the series ended in 1969.
Nichols’ Star Trek character, one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant, was groundbreaking in U.S society at the time. Martin Luther King, Jr. personally praised her work on the show and asked her to remain when she was considering leaving the series.
After her run with Star Trek, she was invited to participate in a NASA initiative to recruit women and minorities for their space program. In addition to acting, Nichols had an expansive singing career as well, releasing two albums and singing alongside of Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.”