11/22/2011

On this day, November 22, 1968, television's first inter-racial kiss appeared on Star Trek and opened the door to racial equality for generations.

In the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" the crew is forced to do the bidding of "gods" who force Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) to kiss.

One critic said, "The underlying message was, 'If I have to kiss you to save my ship and crew, by God, I'll do it.'"

The moment was so ground-breaking the studio shot two versions of the scene: One with them kissing and one without in case they changed their mind.

In her autobiography, Beyond Uhura, Star Trek and Other Memories, Nichols says she got a letter from a White Southerner who said: "I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, any time a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain't gonna fight it."

Below is the full scene from the episode if you haven't seen it. What's funny is that Shatner says their lips never touch, while Nichols insists they did. It's hard to tell from this angle.

Happy Anniversary Kirk and Uhura's kiss, thanks for opening the door to racial equality. I speak for many when I say I wouldn't mind trading places with you.

What did this kiss mean to you? Do you remember where you were when you first saw it?

5 comments:

AlexJCavanaugh said...

Think how far we've come since that time!

spacerguy said...

Its a hard job but somebody has to do it.

Maurice Mitchell said...

LOL Spacerguy. No sacrifice is too great.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Alex, it's hard to imagine people getting all riled up about something like this now. It's nice to see the difference.

Thnoehr said...

I clearly remembering seeing this, way back in my youth, on black-and-white telly no less.
And my initial thought was: "What's the fuss? Just kiss each other already so we can get on with the story."
But then, I'm not from the US, and I never gave a toss about the whole race thing.

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