Martin Luther King, Jr Was A Trekkie

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JD5000, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    From an interview with Nichelle Nichols...link to full text here.

    ***

    Ms. NICHOLS: I went in to tell Gene Roddenberry that I was leaving after the first season, and he was very upset about it. And he said, take the weekend and think about what I am trying to achieve here in this show. You're an integral part and very important to it. And so I said, yes, I would. And that - on Saturday night, I went to an NAACP fundraiser, I believe it was, in Beverly Hills. And one of the promoters came over to me and said, Ms. Nichols, there's someone who would like to meet you. He says he is your greatest fan.
    And I'm thinking a Trekker, you know. And I turn, and before I could get up, I looked across the way and there was the face of Dr. Martin Luther King smiling at me and walking toward me. And he started laughing. By the time he reached me, he said, yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan. I am that Trekkie.


    Ms. NICHOLS: And I was speechless. He complimented me on the manner in which I'd created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you. He said, no, no, no. No, you don't understand. We don't need you on the - to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for. So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I'm going to miss my co-stars.
    And his face got very, very serious. And he said, what are you talking about? And I said, well, I told Gene just yesterday that I'm going to leave the show after the first year because I've been offered - and he stopped me and said: You cannot do that. And I was stunned. He said, don't you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch. I was speechless.


    MARTIN: Ms. Nichols, I have to tell you, the same was true in our house. I mean we would run and our parents would literally call and say look, look, you know, she's on.


    Ms. NICHOLS: Yes. Yes.


    MARTIN: But that's kind of a heavy responsibility, though. I do have to ask you about that. I mean the fact is you did put a side some of your own personal dreams to stay in that role.


    Ms. NICHOLS: Yes. Yes. Well, you know...


    MARTIN: And then you did three movies. And how does that sit with you now?


    Ms. NICHOLS: Well, it's interesting that you said, you know, you would run through the house and look. I met Whoopi Goldberg when Gene was doing The Next Generation and she had told me when Star Trek came on she was nine years old and she said she turned the TV on and saw me and ran through the house screaming: Come quick, come quick. Theres a black lady on TV and she ain't no maid.


    Ms. NICHOLS: And that did something to my heart, so I knew that I had made the right decision, because as Dr. King said, you have been chosen.



    ***
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And this careworn story is supposed to be new to us on a board devoted to Star Trek? ;)

    Hope you had a meaningful MLK Jr. Day.
     
  3. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It makes me sad that this story may not be true, cause it really is a great story.
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unfortunately, all the "evidence" points to this story being untrue, given how dramatically she has changed it over the years.
     
  5. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I want the story to be true!
    Is it possible it is true?
     
  6. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    I'm gonna go ahead and believe it's true, you do whatever you want.
     
  7. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So there's a well-documented picture of MLK playing pool. I'd really love to see a photo of him playing 3-D chess.
     
  8. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    a story changing over forty plus years isn't an indication of there being no truth there, just that it's been embellished for dramatic purposes, or that Human memory is obviously faulty. The story may be made up, but "it's changed over the years" doesn't automatically point to "it's not true."
     
  9. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Hell yeah, sonak.

    Regardless of whether this story is 100%, 50%, or 0% true, Nichelle Nichols was an important person during the civil rights movement of the 60's. Put into context, her role as Uhura brought hope to African-Americans and women during a time when inequality for both of those demographics was the norm.
    Even if the story isn't true, it might as well be.
     
  10. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm going to go ahead and mention that I would SWEAR that I have seen a picture of MLK on the TOS bridge set. And also that I can't find it through a Google image search, which casts doubt on the veracity of my memory. So make of that what you will.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When I first saw the thread title out of the corner of my eye,
    I thought the word trekkie was the word tribble.

    Would have totally changed the discussion now wouldn't it?

    :)
     
  12. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    He did have a beard, but seems to have kept it well-trimmed. MLK may have reproduced a lot, but nowhere near Tribble-level.
     
  13. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the actual details are important to you, Nichols has provided several versions of the story to choose from. Might as well pick the one you like best!
     
  14. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Maybe I'm on the wrong track, but I thought that was the purpose of the internet.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I posted this some years ago, but just re the topic:

     
  16. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Sounds sound.
     
  17. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The version I recall was that he was at the studio lot for some other reason, and stopped by to see part of a shoot. But, like I've said before, I got Swiss cheese brain like Sam at the beginning of Quantum Leap. ;)
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, there are some pretty significant inconsistencies. In one its reported "during a promotional trip to Memphis", while others refer to an NAACP fundraiser, and whether it was a chance meeting or "was a close friend".
     
  19. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    ^^This.

    I choose to believe it happened.
     
  20. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    As they say, the Devil's in the details.