During a question-and-answer session at ComicCon in 2016, then-showrunner Bryan Fuller said that the inspirations for centering the show around a female lead and a character of color were the actress Nichelle Nichols (who played Lieutenant Uhura, the only black character and the only woman in the main cast of the original series) and the astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. Sonequa Martin-Green, the actress who was eventually cast as this character (Lieutenant Commander Rainsford) is the first black actress to be the lead in a Star Trek series. Martin-Green also has in common with Mae Jemison that both women were born in Alabama: Jemison in Decatur and Martin-Green in Russelville.
If y’all sleep on Star Trek: Discovery I will murder each of you individually because. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.