Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here.
Today, I’m celebrating that I’ve almost made it through the A to Z Challenge! Only five more days to go after today. I haven’t been able to do as much visiting of other blogs as I’d hoped, but I plan to make the rounds after the Challenge. A to Z Road Trip!
Moving on to A to Z —
Imagine America in the 1960s, torn by racial tension and violence. In the midst of it all, the creators of Star Trek did the unthinkable. They cast a black woman in an important role, equal to her white male counterparts on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
Lieutenant Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols, was chief communications officer aboard the Enterprise, but her skills didn’t end there. She also took over the duties of helmsman, navigation, and science officer when necessary. Her competence in these areas was relied upon without any doubt. No one ever questioned her abilities.
The original series episode, Who Mourns for Adonais?, revealed another of Uhura’s skills — she rewired the entire communication system of the space shuttle to restore contact with the Enterprise. Very delicate work, in her words. Mr. Spock replies that he “can think of no one better equipped to handle it.”
Uhura rose to the rank of full commander in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and continued to be a vital member of Captain Kirk’s crew in subsequent movies. She became a Star Trek icon, a role model for an oppressed African-American nation. According to Nichols, when she was going to leave the show after the first season, Martin Luther King, Jr., told her how important she was as a role model and inspiration to the African-American community and encouraged her to reconsider. Because of this, she stayed.
Later, she campaigned for NASA in their effort to recruit more women and African-Americans to join. I read that Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel in space (aboard the shuttle Endeavor), credited Star Trek as an influence in her decision to become an astronaut.
What other celebrations are going on out there?
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.