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Foreign Languages

Uhura - Swahili for "Freedom" and the surname of the black, female communications officer Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) stationed on the USS Enterprise on the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69 and subsequent movie sequels.  

Nichelle Nichols as Communication Officer Lt. Nyota Uhura - STAR TREK
Nichelle Nichols as Communications Officer Lt. Uhura

Although Uhura speaks Swahili on episode "Man Trap",  James Blish's Star Trek  novels identify her as Bantu, as does Gene Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The book "Beyond Uhura" written by Nichelle Nichols revealed that the name "Uhura" was inspired by the book "Black Uhuru" which she was reading the day she read for the part of her now popular character.

While Lt. Uhura's "first" name was never mentioned on the TV series or movies, she has been assigned the names of "Penda," "Nyota" and "Samara" in non-canon Star Trek novels and related biographies.


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