Beyond Uhura

Beyond Uhura
Nichelle Nichols, 1994

This was an awesome memoir.

The Trek stories were fun of course, but it was really the span of Nichols' career and interests that intrigued me most. She was often in the right place at the right time to meet important directors and performers, and it's always enjoyable to get new perspectives on important movements in theater and dance.

I feel a little silly saying it, but it is more affecting to have some stories told by someone you feel like you know – even if you only 'know' them from being a fan. Stories like when she loses a big contract when she refuses to sleep with a producer. or is assaulted and threatened when on an out of town job alone. A personal account of sexism and racism is simply more moving than statistics.

The chapters dealing with her family and her heritage were fascinating: both moving and highly entertaining to read.

Her account of every part of her life seemed very fair-minded. Her verbal pictures, especially of the people involved with Star Trek, were highly nuanced. No one came off as a bastard or as a saint, just as people, which makes me think her depictions are probably pretty close to the truth. She calmly explains various incidents with charm and grace toward all concerned, even when she was angry at the time.

I was also impressed to read more about Nichols' work with NASA and other science organizations, promoting women astronauts, science education, etc.

This was a great read. I feel uncomfortable assigning a number rating to a memoir...but okay

4 Stars – A Really Good Book


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