Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JD5000, Jan 20, 2014.
IT's like the gospels!
The details may be a bit unclear, but overall the different versions of the story all say the same thing.
I agree. And the most basic version of the story is probably the most accurate.
Ok, are there any third parties that have written about the MLK story? Any mention of it in one of Shatner or Nimoy's books, or other books by or interviews with any of the other cast members, producers, or staff?
I would think that, if this story were true, the first thing that Ms. Nichols would have done would have been to immediately tell it to everyone that would listen, which would have included Shatner, Nimoy, Roddenberry, and the dozens of other people that she interacted with on a regular work day at the Trek set.
To put it another way, let's imagine that 10 years ago I had met Steve Jobs, one of my personal heroes and inspirations. I would not have waited until now to tell my geeky friends and coworkers about the most awesome thing that ever happened to me.
Count me as someone that really wants the story to be true, but it just doesn't seem to be, unfortunately.
Well.. myths are also cool
I seem to rememeber it (a version) being in Shatner's Trek Memories book, but it been quite a few years.
I vividly remember one of the TNG documentaries with a Whoopi Goldberg interview and this ^^ is exactly what Whoopi Goldberg said for word for word.
Now either Whoopi Goldberg has memorized this anecdote (and just "replays" it every time she has a chance, which I personally do not believe) or Nichelle Nichols didn't remember the exact wording and chose to copy and paste the text of the interview, instead.
Other than that I have absolutely no doubt, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. felt about Star Trek the way it has been presented here.
According to Whitfield's Making of Star Trek (and the context of the time in which TOS was produced) "By putting a Negro in the crew they might lose the Southern states, by putting a Mexican in the crew they might lose Texas, Arizona, and parts of California, and so forth."
I don't know if that has been properly acknowledged but unless I'm mistaken the second other starship captain in production order featured / mentioned was an African American!
Commodore Stone (Percy Rodriguez) in "Court-Martial" (produced before "The Menagerie" and Captain Pike) explicitly mentions that he had been a starship captain (and in this episode obviously outranks Kirk).
In the airing chronology Commodore Stone was the second character to have been a starship captain (Pike being the first) and "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" suggested there are only 12 (prestigious) starships like the Enterprise.
"Court Martial" was the episode broadcasted right after TY so I can imagine how excited African American audiences (possibly including Dr. King) must have been, that an African American had previously been captain of one of these few 12 starships.
So I could understand that Dr. King saw quite some potential here and asked Nichelle Nichols to stay.
Of course, it took until 1982 until we finally saw an African American captain of a starship.
I did not know that til yesterday that was so awesome to find that out!!!!!!
Of course we don't known if Rev. King ever even heard of Star Trek.
My impression is that the Enterprise (and by extension her sister ships) is a medium size "work horse" ship. The Enterprise certainly did seem to get a fair number of little shit jobs.
I'd suggest reading this article (link) for some context on blacks on television in the 1960s.
From reading it, I suspect Star Trek was never in serious dangerous of not being carried in "the south" because of a continuing character like Uhura. After all, as the page indicates...
...and I Spy had a black co-star.
I saw this on tumblr. I'll share it with you guys.
Nichelle Nichols appeared on AMC's Comic Book Men last week, and told her MLK story.
That's her story, and she's sticking to it.
It's a nice story, even if it isn't true.
In 1959 or 1960, during Twilight Zone's first season, Serling did an episode featuring an entirely black cast called "The Big Tall Wish." I'm not sure how well-received it was -- and the fact that TZ never again did an episode featuring an all-black cast suggests to me it may not have gone over well -- but I'd argue that that one episode was far more ground-breaking than was Star Trek six years later.
Someone should gather up all the different versions and assign them release version numbers.
It was the "edited to fill 10 seconds on a scripted reality TV show" version.
I really want the story to be true, but I just don't believe it anymore, and shame on the Comic Book Men producers for apparently not trying to verify the story first before shoehorning it into their script.
Separate names with a comma.