Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond Uhura” as Want to Read:
Beyond Uhura
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond Uhura

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  525 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
For nearly 30 years, Nichelle Nichols has been a part of the Star Trek mythos: Lieutenant Uhura, communications officer of the starship Enterprise, the first African-American woman to have a major continuing role in television. Now Nichols, with her candid and insightful autobiography, takes readers where no book has gone before. 40 photos.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 1994 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond Uhura, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond Uhura

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
The lovely Nichelle Nichols is one of my idols, since I was a kid.

I grew up on watching reruns of Star Trek and then of course going to see all the Star Trek movies. I wanted to be her. How cool was she... VERY! I absolutely loved this book and am now purchasing it to have my own copy. :)
This is an excellent example of fame going to a person's head, making them feel as though they are more intelligent than they actually are. Ms. Nichols gives off the unfortunate (and hopefully unintentional) impression that she thinks she is always right and always in the right, except perhaps where her relationship with her mother and her romantic relationships are concerned. She doesn't recount experiences where she was wrong, or even where she was embarrassed, unless she was embarrassed becau ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
While I agree with Wendy's review somewhat - mostly that this book is self-indulgent, disjointed, and maybe even egotistical - I feel those issues arise in many autobiographies, especially from people in the entertainment industry. You have to know what you're getting into. I decided to pick this up after seeing Ms. Nichols relate some of her stories at Dragon*Con 2012, and there can be no argument that she and Uhura have been great inspirations to people of many races, genders, and generations. ...more
In Beyond Uhura, Nichelle Nichols tells her story from the beginnings growing up in a socially progressive family through her teen years as a young singer/dancer who had already been praised by Josephine Baker and worked with Duke Ellington. She got her first job at the age of fourteen working in a cast at the Sherman House Hotel which portrayed many of the tremendous acts which had been staged at the Sherman House's College Inn supper club in the twenties: Fred and Adele Astaire, Duke Ellington ...more
Lindsay Stares
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an awesome memoir.

The Trek stories were fun of course, but it was really the span of Nichols' career and interests that intrigued me most. She was often in the right place at the right time to meet important directors and performers, and it's always enjoyable to get new perspectives on important movements in theater and dance.

[Image] I feel a little silly saying it, but it is more affecting to have some stories told by someone you feel like you know – even if you only 'know' them from b
Emily Saaen
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trekkers
This one could have been named "The world revolves around ME". In this book Ms. Nichols comes across as a very self-indulgent person. Hard-working, no doubt, but too ideal and all winged-haloed, beautiful, faultless, fierce, independent, strong, loving, insert_anything_positive_here. Even when she speaks about someone else - it screams "Look, how good it is of ME to value this other person!" Probably, it's not her fault, but her editors and co-authors could have done a better job, should they tr ...more
Stephen Collins
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uruha The famous Black kiss the woman who infused females to become top NASA scientists like other books from Star Trek stars this is lot more than just Trek
Unlike Bill who admitted he couldn't rember his time as Kirk all other stars could
I am very glad I read Nichelle Nichols' autobiography. She had me in tears so many times reading this. The amount of racism that she had to deal with was just staggering. I think most people who like Star Trek have heard her tell the story of how she was going to quit after the first season but Martin Luther King told her how important it was that she stay. Now she says that she was quiting because she wanted to return to musical theatre, or because her part was too small. But in the book it is ...more
My review is more from the memory of reading this book years ago than from any current readings. The short & sweet of this autobiography is that Nichelle writes about her life before, during, & after Star Trek. Rather than go the same route as other ST alumi, she tries her hardest to avoid badmouthing the Shatner (even though he makes it VERY hard for her to stay neutral) which she mostly succeeds at.

Miss Nichols has lead an amazing life. She not only starred in one of the most popular
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's face it, who doesn't love Nichelle Nichols? She's had an amazing career in entertainment, rubbed elbows with some of the most influential people of our time and she inspired millions of little girls to strive to get on to their own Enterprise, whatever it may be. I thought her book was brilliant and honest. As far as I'm concerned, she's royalty, Hollywood or otherwise.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a well-written story about a fascinating life. I think the most impressive thing about the book is the readability: it is absorbing and so positive. It is usually the negative that makes a good story, yet Ms. Nichols maintains her positive outlook throughout the book and still holds your attention. Well done!
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nichelle reveals the Hollywood shuffle game and tells us of conservative suits behind the scenes.
Star Trek- big ideas, big egos, and big legends...
This was an overall adequate autobiography. I love Star Trek, but must admit that the first series is a bit too dated for me. I grew up with TNG, DS9 and Voyager and those are my true loves. However, I have always been interested in and root for women who go against the grain, and Nichelle Nichols is one of those women. Obviously not being alive at the time of TOS, it is hard for me to appreciate just how big of a deal it was to have a character like Uhura on a TV show, so maybe one of her great ...more
Peter Hofstra
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the behind the scenes on Star Trek. I read one review where they found her biography to be very self-indulgent. I disagree. I think she gave us so much of who she is as Nichelle Nichols other than Uhura. Understanding that give me deeper insight into her love and affinity for Star Trek, and for the enduring power of the Star Trek universe.
Two things I did not know, one was a relationship with Gene Roddenberry, The other far more personally intriguing was her conversation with Martin Luther
Nichelle Nichols did it her way and is still doing it her way. Head strong as a child, she made decisions fully aware that she was ready for whatever consequences came from those decisions. From her "freedom" marriage while already pregnant to man many years her senior to her fateful meeting and romance with Gene Roddenberry (the Great Bird of the Galaxy) to always keeping music and dance in her life in some form even when doing contracted work with NASA, Nichols was more than what most know abo ...more
Michael Burhans
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-bios
This was a fun book for me. Ms Nichols has been someone I have loved since I was a child. My ideal of what a woman should be contains a lot of her, smart, powerful, kind, creative, and always classy.

While there was a lot about Star Trek and those in it as one would expect, there was so much more too. A real insight into a young Black Actress trying to make it before and during the civil rights era and what she faced, and how she faced it. A sparkling wit drives the narrative and makes it fun
Bj Hoover
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book written in 1994 is a really interesting autobiography of a talented intelligent woman. It not only gives us Trekkers real insight into the history and making of Star Trek, but a peek into the life of a black American woman coming into her own through very difficult times. If you do not have great admiration for Nichelle Nichols by the time you finish this book, you need to reread it with your heart.
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book, well written and entertaining as well. Ms. Nichols has lead a fascinating life as a singer, an activist, a mother and of course acting on Star Trek. The behind the scenes from the series and films were fun and interesting, and admittedly my motivation for reading the book, but the story of her life was equally involving. An excellant read!
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Nichelle Nichols is very open and honest about how she grew up, knew what she wanted and went after it. She is known for her role as Uhura on Star Trek but is so much more she is also a Singer, Dancer, educator, activist, futurist, friend and Mother.
The book at times does lose focus and becomes confusing but overall a four star book.
I admire Nichelle Nichols for what she has done. She is an inspiration to many, and has done much on-screen and off to further our exploration beyond our atmosphere.

Her retelling of her life rings a bit hollow. She rarely has any lessons learned or shows herself in a poor light. Not that everyone has to have deep, dark secrets to reveal, but that where there would in most recounting a a moment of self-reflection and growth, she is already awesome and moving on. In addition, the bit at the end ab
Emily Kimball
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Certainly one reason Star Trek drew so many young people, especially high school and college students, was that it addressed the problems they faced: the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights struggle, and the seemingly interminable Cold War. The fight for equal rights and protection still has a long way to go, but it's stunning to review some of the major events in recent history: the fall of the Communist bloc, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the free elections in South Africa. In 1968 no one eve ...more
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much. I'm probably biased because I love Nichelle Nichols so much. Uhura was one of my first role models growing up. What is not to love about a woman surrounded by a bunch of men on the bridge of a Starship but still holds her own??

I had no idea what an amazing life she has had and how much work she did for NASA until I read this book.

For me the Star Trek memories were just an added bonus in this book. I am also glad she mentioned the "The thing's gotta have a tailpipe" li
I normally don't read biographies but my cousin sent this in the mail.

I did not realize that Nichelle Nichols was originally a ballet dancer. The story of her early life is very interesting because it addresses the discrimination that blacks faced in that era and her failed marriage that left her a single mother. It was definitely a struggle for her until she landed the Star Trek role. Even then, the character of Uhura was never developed as much as she and Roddenberry wished because she was alw
I picked this up as a young Trekkie on a mission to consume everything I could about Star Trek. This is one of the few books I picked up on those many trips to the book store that has really stayed with me ever since.

Nichelle Nichols led a fascinating life and she writes about it incredibly well.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very refreshing! I mean that in that I often forget that Nichelle Nichols was the only female regular Star Trek cast member for the whole run. It was great to see her take on things as a woman and from the point of view of a woman of colour. She really was a trailblazer in all that she did, Star Trek and outside.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it liked it
I've read all the original cast memoirs, and this one falls a little flat. It ocncentrates on Nichelle Nichols career after Star Trek -- spparently she had a bustling singing career, yet I never knew her as a singer at all. Interesting but after the hundredth diatribe about such and such concert --- that's about all there seems to have been.

I cried like four times reading this. Also I adored that it wasn't 90% Star Trek, but was instead 90% all of the other super interesting and important things Nichols has done. The whole end section about her work with NASA was fantastic.

Her Star Trek section was great, too, much more about the social impact of the show and the behind-the-scenes prank wars of the set.
Virginia Lee Boylan
This is a fascinating look into a world of which I have no experience. I have always found it hard to understand the way society segregates people based solely on their skin color. Nichols is a pioneer is so many ways, and we are all richer for her talent and courage.
Sep 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: startrek, non-fiction
Like any autobiography, some bias must be expected, and certain things should be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, an amusing and interesting look at the life of the actress who brought us Nyota Uhura.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting book. Glad I read it. I just heard that George Takei was in Detroit this week - how cool!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • To the Stars
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty
  • I Am Spock
  • From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley
  • Star Trek Memories
  • Inside Star Trek: The Real Story
  • Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry
  • The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood
  • Vulcan's Forge
  • Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual
  • The Rift
  • Sarek
  • My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek: Rihannsu, #1)
  • Mind Meld
  • Prime Directive (Star Trek: Worlds in Collision, #2)
  • The World of Star Trek
  • The Kobayashi Maru
  • The Vulcan Academy Murders
Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Nichols) is an American singer, actress, and voice actress. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starf ...more
More about Nichelle Nichols

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God
    $11.49 $2.99
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
    $17.99 $1.99
  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
    $12.49 $2.99
  • When the Game Was Ours
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Power
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Through My Eyes
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Brief History of Everything
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Invitation
    $12.24 $2.99
  • The World's Religions, Revised and Updated (Plus)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Leonardo's Notebooks
    $11.99 $2.99
  • An American Childhood
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Making Toast
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
    $11.99 $2.99
  • 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Clapton: The Autobiography
    $11.99 $1.99
“Some people view Gene as a man with a wild futuristic utopian fantasy, but that’s too simple. Star Trek did not promise that people would magically become inherently “better,” but that they would progress, always reaching for their highest potential and noblest goals, even if it took centuries of taking two steps forward and one step back. Ideally, humankind would be guided in its quest by reason and justice. The ultimate futility of armed conflict, terrorism, dictatorial rule, prejudice, disregard for the environment, and exercising power for its own sake was demonstrated time and again” 5 likes
“As I soon learned, this was the dream to which Gene had alluded so often in the past. Interestingly, though he’d said many times before that there might be something in this for me, that day I won a part that had yet to be created. It was only after I’d been brought on board, and Gene and I conceived and created her, that Uhura was born. Many times through the years I’ve referred to Uhura as my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of the twenty-third century. Gene and I agreed that she would be a citizen of the United States of Africa. And her name, Uhura, is derived from Uhuru, which is Swahili for “freedom.” According to the “biography” Gene and I developed for my character, Uhura was far more than an intergalactic telephone operator. As head of Communications, she commanded a corps of largely unseen communications technicians, linguists, and other specialists who worked in the bowels of the Enterprise, in the “comm-center.” A linguistics scholar and a top graduate of Starfleet Academy, she was a protégée of Mr. Spock, whom she admired for his daring, his intelligence, his stoicism, and especially his logic. We even had outlined exactly where Uhura had grown up, who her parents were, and why she had been chosen over other candidates for the Enterprise’s five-year mission.” 0 likes
More quotes…