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on February 19, 2001
Nichelle Nichols led a pretty interesting life. All her accounts of the racism she's dealt with are particularly involving. The book has an eye-rolling movie star tendency toward self flattery, but she has reason to be proud of her accomplishments (and I'm sorry, but contrary to what's been previously written, she never comes close to claiming that everyone in her family is a genius or that every man she met fell in love with her). She also offers some STAR TREK anecdotes that I for one never saw before, and I've read a lot of them.
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on April 16, 2000
This is a fascinating read from beginning to end! Ms. Nichols struggle to achieve success as a black woman in a white-male dominated industry is enlightening and inspiring. She is a talented, compassionate, giving person which shines forth from the written word. I encourage you to purchase her cd as well, "Out Of This World" to hear her lovely voice and one of the best interviews I've heard. Also, check out the animated star trek series from the 70s where Lt. Uhura gets to finally serve as Captain (The Lorelei Signal episode)! She is also prominently featured in "The Slaver Weapon", "Once Upon A Planet" and "The Practical Joker" episodes and yes, it's her voice as the character. I read she and George Takei (Sulu) almost weren't a part of the animated series until Leonard Nimoy went to bat for them. My fantasy is to see Nichelle get a leading role in a movie, "Uhura's Song" (one of the Star Trek novels by Janet Kagan) perhaps? : - ) All hailing frequencies are eternally open for this dynamic lady.
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on April 23, 2000
What self-respecting male adolescent of the 1960's did not get turned on when he heard those words uttered by Nichelle Nichols in her sexy role as Lt. Uhura on the starship Enterprise? My sister had this "thing" for Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock; wherein, I knew that I wanted to "boldly travel" with Miss Nichols.
Her autobiograpy chronicles not just the Trek years, but her career as dancer before and NASA representative after the initial cancellation of the series. She has written a most interesting book which features the famous and not-so-famous she has encountered in her long career. I was especially captivated by her work on the film "Porgy and Bess" and her encounters with tempermental star Dorothy Dandridge. Miss Nichols reflections are insightful and poignant. Like the other Trek cast members, she carefully "rates" her co-star William Shatner in a tactful, yet revealing portrait.
Yes, the book is a must for Trekkers, but it is a good read for the "non-initiated. It is another look at the world of entertainment and its pros and cons in the dealing of minority performers.
Great work, the true queen of outer space!
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on January 28, 2000
I really enjoyed Nichelle Nichol's autobiography, which lived up to its title. Like many fans of Star Trek, I'm interested as much in the actor's histories as I am in their experiences on the show. I very much enjoyed the chapter devoted to her family history,that led up to her life-long struggle to be treated with respect as a black performer during very racist times. It made me appreciate her accomplishments even more, and the unofficial campaign by network suits to diminish her role. Her autobiography goes beyond just an actor's memoir; she shares with the reader what it was like to be a struggling female minority actress (adversity times 3!), facing producers' lascivious advances, attempted rape, open racism, and stereotyping, and ultimately triumphing. The most fascinating part was her description of her experiences with black performers she met or worked with, from Redd Foxx to Sammy Davis Jr. Anyone who quibbles that she was the target of advances by many famous people only needs to see her photos; they'll change their opinions. This book is written in her own voice, without a ghostwriter or "editor". Definitely recommended.
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on September 21, 1998
The author spends the first few chapters of the book expanding on her genealogy. Die-hard Uhura fans may enjoy this (especially since her family tree contains ancestors who were extraordinary for their social stances in their time), but fans of Star Trek in general may be bored. Her manner of story-telling seems egotistical even to the point of being hard to believe. I must admit that after reading several chapters on her family and background, I skipped ahead to the Star Trek years. Her descriptions of the racial discrimination that occurred during Star Trek--both obvious and "Jim Crow" varieties--is certainly worth reading about, especially for young readers who don't remember the bad old days and may get quite a culture shock from it. Hearing about the mail-room incident certainly shocked me. I had such a bad feeling about it that I wanted to warp back in time and change history. I was a little annoyed with her gullibility on matters psychic, as well as her seeming subservience to Gene Roddenberry. I even wondered if he had kept her on the show just so that he could manipulate her psychologically in some sadistic personal vendetta by cutting her lines thus cutting out her heart a little bit at a time? Did she ever consider that? (Though I'm glad she stayed on the show and I wish she'd been given more lines; especially as she turned out to be a role model for so many.) On the other hand, I also wondered if she perhaps chose G.R. in order to sleep her way onto the TV screen, but then glossed over the fact in this one-sided rendition of her life story. (Shame on me for thinking it). I wouldn't suggest buying the book, but do check it out of the library. And skip the boring parts!
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on February 14, 1999
If you want 400 pages of Star Trek, this may not be the book for you. If, on the other hand, you want to read a biography of a woman who has broken down barriers and lived a life few people even dream of, this book will have you enthralled. Nichols has done so much in her life, and rubbed elbows with so many incredible people--Maya Angelou, Duke Ellington, the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger--that she's lived far beyond her role as Uhura on Star Trek. She does talk about her Star Trek career, but there's so much more to her than that. This memoir is inspirational, sometimes hysterical, and always a great read. You won't be disappointed in this book!
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on December 2, 1999
Where some have mentioned the author as coming across a bit narcissistic and perhaps as having embellished her memoirs, the read is still quite enjoyable. Having done as many different things and having met as many interesting people as Ms. Nichols has indeed done, it's not surprising that she may seem a little self impressed or perhaps even proud of her accomplishments. Regardless of what you think of her, the book itself is a light, good hearted, at times funny diversion. Trekkers will like the latter half more, but even the non-Trek stuff was rather interesting (not screamingly so, but nevertheless more than I had imagined.)
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on March 10, 2001
The book is exactly about what the title means-- Her hard struggle to survive on the Star Trek series was amazing.
Watching Star Trek you would never realize how hard to was for her, physicaly and emotionaly, to stay on the show.
How she had to face racism, sexism, critisism, raising a son on her own, just to get there, proves how much of a strong woman she is.
From the first chapter you become transported to her world, her thoughts, her dreams, her success,... her amazing and inspirational life.
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on March 12, 1998
At least half of this book is about Nichols life and family. The other half is about her years on Star Trek. If Ms. Nichols is to be believed, everyone in her family is a genius. (If her parents are so intelligent, why did she need to support them?) She also leads readers to believe that almost every man who meets her falls madly in love with her and declares that he cannot live without her. If there is any truth in this book, it is overshadowed by her constant self-adoration.
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on January 22, 1999
Nichelle Nichols's character of Uhura served as an important role model for minorities as one of the first regularly appearing African American characters on television (and an officer!). For this reason, Nichols memories of Star Trek are interesting and enjoyable (but perhaps a bit exagerated).
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