President Biden on Sunday paid tribute to Nichelle Nichols, the first Black woman to act in a major role on a primetime television show, who died Saturday at the age of 89.
“In Nichelle Nichols, our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women,” Biden said of the late “Star Trek” actor in a statement issued by the White House.
He noted that through her role as Lt. Uhura, Nichols helped to break down barriers for Black women, especially in entertainment and science.
“With a defining dignity and authority, she helped tell a central story that reimagined scientific pursuits and discoveries, Biden said.
He added, “And she continued this legacy by going on to work with NASA to empower generations of Americans from every background to reach for the stars and beyond.”
The president was one of many who shared their devastation over the loss of Nichols, whose death in New Mexico was announced Sunday by her son.
Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fl.) also shared tributes to Nichols.
“Her kindness and bravery lit the path for many,” wrote Abrams. “May she forever dwell among the stars.”