Friday, April 25, 2014

U is for Uhura

Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura

   Uhura means "Freedom" in Swahili, which she could speak fluently.  Nichols' portrayal in this movie was so groundbreaking because she was the first African American to have a role on the television screen that wasn't stereotypical; what was also groundbreaking was the fact that Uhura had shared the first on screen interracial kiss with Captain Kirk (William Shatner). She was a Communications officer on the U.S.S Enterprise and went on to hold other higher ranks on the ship as well. 
    Zoe Saldana played Uhura in the Star Trek movies in (2009) and (2013). I loved the remake of her character because the writers stayed true with keeping her as a smart, strong character. She and Spock have a relationship in the movies as opposed to how her relationship with spock was portrayed in the original television series. Uhura in the movies is an expert is "Xenolinguistics", which according to the Star Trek website is the study of Alien languages. She is also able to sense aurally and detect Sonic anomalies in Subspace Transmission tests.
    It makes my day that Uhura is a character that hasn't gotten pushed back or rather taken out of the equation. It makes little girls of color who are seeing these movies think wow that's cool, there is someone that looks like me on the big screen; someone who is beautiful, smart and strong. I commend the writers for that. I can't really see the Uhura character being in a stand alone film but I do hope that as long as Star Trek movies (television series, perhaps?) are made that they continue to keep the character just as she is. I am also grateful for Nichelle Nichols for being one of the African American actresses to pave the way for other women of color to play roles like these. If not for her, we probably would not have any characters to look up to. There is definitely work that still needs to be done, and I hold the belief that people of color will have to create our own superheros and Super-heroines and learn our folktales and stories so that they won't be lost; we can't wait for
Hollywood to show us in a positive light, nor the Hero role.
Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura


  1. I absolutely LOVE this character, and they picked two beautiful and strong women to play her. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge, and I look forward to visiting again.


  2. Nichelle was great in the role of Uhura. I hope you get to finish the challenge even if you are a few days behind. Maria, Delight Directed Living