Overnights on HYFIN: Monday - Friday, 12 am - 6 amclose
HYFIN Connecting The Culture
Rhythm Lab Radio Redefining the Urban Sound
Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody
Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ dies at 89 NPR
Actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, best known as Star Trek‘s communications officer Lieutenant Uhura, died Saturday night in Silver City, New Mexico. She was 89 years old.
“I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years,” her son Kyle Johnson wrote on the website Uhura.com. “Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.”
Nichols was one of the first Black women featured in a major television series, and her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original TV series was groundbreaking: an African American woman whose name came from Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.”
“Here I was projecting in the 23rd century what should have been quite simple,” Nichols told NPR in 2011. “We’re on a starship. I was head communications officer. Fourth in command on a starship. They didn’t see this as being, oh, it doesn’t happen til the 23rd century. Young people and adults saw it as now.”
In 1968, Nichols made headlines when Uhura shared an intimate kiss with Captain James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner) in an episode called “Plato’s Stepchildren.” Their interracial kiss on the lips was revolutionary, one of the first such moments on TV.
Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols in a Chicago suburb where her father was the mayor. She grew up singing and dancing, aspiring to star in musical theater. She got her first break in the 1961 musical Kicks and Co., a thinly veiled satire of Playboy magazine. She was the star of the Chicago stock company production of Carmen Jones, and in New York performed in Porgy and Bess.
‘To me, the highlight and the epitome of my life as a singer and actor and a dancer/choreographer was to star on Broadway,” she told NPR in 2011, adding that as her popularity on Star Trek grew, she was beginning to get other offers. “I decided I was going to leave, go to New York and make my way on the Broadway stage.”
Nichols said she went to Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and announced she was quitting. “He was very upset about it. And he said, take the weekend and think about what I am trying to achieve here in this show. You’re an integral part and very important to it.”
So that weekend, she went to an NAACP fundraiser in Beverly Hills and was asked to meet a man who said he was her number one fan: Martin Luther King, Jr.
“He complimented me on the manner in which I’d created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, ‘Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you.’ He said, ‘no, no, no. No, you don’t understand. We don’t need you … to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for.’ So, I said to him, ‘thank you so much. And I’m going to miss my co-stars.'”
“His face got very, very serious,” she recalled. “And he said, ‘what are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘well, I told Gene just yesterday that I’m going to leave the show after the first year because I’ve been offered… And he stopped me and said: ‘You cannot do that.’ I was stunned. He said, ‘don’t you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch.’ I was speechless.”
Nichols returned to the series, which lasted until 1969. She also reprised her famous role in six subsequent feature films, including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where Uhura was promoted to commander.
For years, Nichols also helped diversify the real-life space program, helping to recruit astronauts Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, Guion Bluford, and others. And she had her own science foundation, Women in Motion.
“Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation,” tweeted actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on TV in the 1970s. “Nichelle Nichols showed us the extraordinary power of Black women and paved the way for a better future for all women in media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you.”
George Takei, who costarred on Star Trek as helmsman Hikaru Sulu tweeted: “I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise,” her wrote. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”
He also posted a photo of his longtime friend, both of them flashing the Vulcan greeting, and these words: “We lived long and prospered together.”
Written by: NPR
5 Points Art Gallery + Studios
Lupi & Iris
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
The Back Room at Colectivo
The Cactus Club
The Salt Shed
The Sugar Maple
Turner Hall Ballroom
14jun8:00 pmCupcakKe at Cactus ClubZed Kenzo • bdwthr • DJ DR!PSweat
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona and music although she has also made songs with themes supporting LGBTQ rights, female empowerment, and autism awareness.
(Wednesday) 8:00 pm
15jun7:00 pmMeshell Ndegeocello at Turner Hall Ballroom
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.
The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe. The Omnichord Real Book is available for pre-order now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital.
“It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”
“This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”
(Thursday) 7:00 pm
Turner Hall Ballroom
1040 Ve. R. Phillips Ave.
12:00 am - 6:00 am
Overnights on HYFIN: Monday - Friday, 12 am - 6 amclose
HYFIN is a media movement from Radio Milwaukee.
Milwaukee’s only Urban Alternative radio station features the full spectrum of Black music beyond R&B and Hip-Hop plus Milwaukee music. HYFIN connects the culture with the latest Black culture news, podcasts and more. Listen to best hip hop & R&B, dance, Afrobeats and more!