Nichelle Nichols Biography (Wikipedia)
Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols; December 28, 1932) is an American actress, singer, and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Nichols played communications officer Lieutenant (later, Commander) Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek television series (1966–1969), as well as the succeeding motion pictures. Nichols's role was groundbreaking as one of the first African American female characters on American television not portrayed as a servant. She also worked to recruit diverse astronauts to NASA, including women and ethnic minorities.