Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of Star Trek? It’s true!
Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played the role of Lieutenant Uhura, has told the now-famous story of when she was considering quitting Star Trek, after the conclusion of the show’s first season. While she enjoyed being on the show, she wanted to try her hand at Broadway, and offered her resignation, much to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s dismay.
Not long after making the decision to start weighing her options, she attended a fundraiser. While at the fundraiser, she was told by an organizer that “her biggest fan” wanted to meet her. When she turned around to meet the fan, she was surprised and overjoyed to see that the man was none other than Martin Luther King Jr.!
Dr. King urged her to reconsider her departure, and explained to her that the show was one of his family’s favorites, largely because of her portrayal of a positive African American role model, and stated that it was the only show that they allowed their children to stay up past their bedtime to watch.
Nichols was obviously taken aback by this high praise, and chose to continue on in her role for the show’s entire three season run, as well as returning in the subsequent feature films.
To see the story told in Nichols’ own words, see the video below!