Nichelle Nichols Throws Vulcan Signs with Obama in the Oval Office

The actress who played Star Trek's Lt. Uhura pays a visit to one of her fans.

By Channing Kennedy Apr 05, 2012

If you’re following Barack Obama on Tumblr, you saw this adorable photo yesterday — the President with Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek, showing the Vulcan salute. (Lt. Uhura was a human, not a Vulcan, but there’s only so many recognizable hand signs a franchise can produce.)

Obama has long identified as a comics-and-sci-fi geek, but it’s also worth noting that Nichols has a history with social justice; here she is talking about how Dr. Martin Luther King begged her to stay with the series, to continue inspiring young people by portraying a professional black woman on a hit TV show. Perhaps she even inspired a young Barry Obama? And recently, Nichols has been using Twitter to give Geraldo Rivera some well-deserved heat for his ‘hoodie’ comments about Trayvon Martin.