My middle name is Nichelle. Yes NI-shelle not MI-shelle and my first name is Katina NOT Katrina! I cannot tell you how many school certificates I have collected along the years for Katrina Michelle.
I joke with my mother about my name all the time. Apparently, she watched a lot of TV and her favorite TV shows were very influential in her name selection. My first name, Katina, was actually the name of the love child from her favorite soap opera “Where the Heart is”. The name Nichelle was inspired by the actress Nichelle Nichols who played the role of “Uhura” aboard the USS Enterprise on Star Trek.
Nichelle Nichols was one of the first black women featured in a major television series not portraying a servant. Her character was eventually promoted to the rank of commander! You go girl!
In an article in the New York Enterprise, Nichelle Nichols shared how she viewed herself as just an unimportant cast member and was tempted to leave the show, to pursue a Broadway career. However, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., changed her mind:
“He said I had the first nonstereotypical role, I had a role with honor, dignity and intelligence. ‘You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we’d see this on TV.”
Nichelle Nichols stayed on the cast of Star Trek and went on to form a partnership with NASA to recruit women and minorities into the NASA space program. The current NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, was recruited by her program.
Do you ever think of yourself as just cast member or an extra in the TV show of life? Sometimes, we have no idea of the influence we are having in other people’s lives.
Perhaps we feel like just a cast member because our view of importance has been skewed by societal norms.
….For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Where are you serving others?
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr