Nichelle Nichols has died. The actor broke ground for Black women on television as the beautiful, no-nonsense communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original “Star Trek” TV series. Martin Luther King told Nichols she was an inspiration, encouraging many to open their minds about civil rights. Co-star William Shatner, who shared TV’s first interracial kiss with her, called Nichols a beautiful woman who did much to redefine social issues in the U.S. and throughout the world. She also inspired astronaut Mae Jemison, who was thrilled to meet Nichols before becoming the first black woman in space. Nichols was 89.
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