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The story behind 'Star Trek' actress Nichelle Nichols' iconic interracial kiss

By Matthew Delmont, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History, Dartmouth College
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On a 1968 episode of “Star Trek,” Nichelle Nichols, playing Lt. Uhura, locked lips with William Shatner’s Capt. Kirk in what’s widely thought to be first kiss between a Black woman and white man on American television.

The episode’s plot is bizarre: Aliens who worship the Greek philosopher Plato use telekinetic powers to force the Enterprise crew to sing, dance and kiss. At one point, the aliens compel Lt. Uhura and Capt. Kirk to embrace. Each character tries to resist, but eventually Kirk tilts Uhura back and the…The Conversation


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