Raven-Symoné As Nichelle Nichols Is An Awesome Gift To Trekkies
Try doing the Vulcan salute the next time you’ve had multiple shots of hard liquor. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely easier than attempting to recount the many, many career highlights of Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, who (as if we need to tell you) played the unforgettable and groundbreaking Uhura in the original series.
That’s the task comedian Ashley Nicole Black has ahead of her in a new episode of Drunk History. Assisted by Raven-Symoné and Jaleel White in the roles of Nichols and Martin Luther King Jr., Black skillfully winds her way through the story of how Nichols landed her role on the show, how she almost left it for Broadway after a single season, and which larger than life historical figure convinced her to stick with TV—all without calling the show Star Wars even once (okay, just once).
There’s also an awesome bit about how Nichols and William Shatner conspired to get the first interracial kiss into the show after network execs got squeamish (read: racist) about it, but the coolest part of the clip comes when Black delves into the recruitment work Nichols did for NASA. The actor brought in the space exploration org’s first female and non-white members, Sally Ride and Guion Bluford. She also recruited Mae Jemison for NASA who (god, we love it when things come full circle) had a cameo in The Next Generation… like, as well as being an engineer, a medical doctor, and an astronaut. Anyway, check out the video below.