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'Woman In Motion' showcases the trailblazing star who brought diversity to outer space
by Rob Salkowitz, Senior Contributor
Forbes Translate This Article
22 June 2021
On 22 June 2021 Forbes reported:
Anyone with a passing familiarity with the world of Star Trek recognizes Nichelle Nichols as the communications officer of the starship Enterprise, serving on the bridge alongside Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Mr. Sulu (George Takei) in the original series that aired 1966-1969. At a time when there were vanishingly few Black female faces on prime time television, and none in roles showcasing their dignity, competence, and shared ownership of humanity's future, Nichols inspired millions. [The documentary film includes] details on her role working with NASA to recruit more women and people of color into the program in the mid-1970s ahead of the Space Shuttle launch.
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It turns out one of her biggest fans was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who talked her into staying on the show [Star Trek] after she had quit in frustration over scripts that kept diminishing her character. King's words opened her eyes to her importance as a role model and paved the way for her subsequent career using her platform to advance the goals of inclusion in the entertainment industry and beyond.
... The film features new and archival footage of interviews with everyone from costars and admirers to some of America's most senior and respected astronauts who came into the program decades ago after heeding Nichols's call. ... Her efforts yielded the most diverse crop of scientists, engineers, administrators, and astronauts in the program's history -- over 8,000 in all -- and laid the groundwork for the next decades in NASA's story.
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