Nichelle Nichols the Next Generation! © Joanne S Bast

Nichelle Nichols the Next Generation!

Joanne S Bast

Littlestown, Pennsylvania, USA

Artist Statement

I chose to portray Nichelle Nichols as both a young Lt. Uhura and as a mature advocate for NASA playing black on white against white on black.

I was impressed a few years ago with her autobiography Beyond Uhura. I had never realized the bias and discrimination she faced although as a woman entering the scientific field myself, I could certainly relate. Her perseverance through personal unpleasantness provided a lasting role model for impressionable youngsters. She gave impetus to the attitude “I can do that!” It impressed on me that one never knows how far reaching the effect of a single person can be.

I chose to play on the balance of black and white and the confidence of command, authority and equality. I also added the X’s and O’s to commemorate the first interracial kiss on TV-only one of Star Trek’s ground breaking firsts. I also paid tribute to Nichols’ vocal background by incorporating music inspired fabrics as well as a black glittery knit (interfaced and stitched for stability) that just cried “space.” The children represent the ongoing reach of inspiring the next generation.

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

Nichelle Nichols persevered professionally through a discriminatory and biased working environment to become a role model for the next generation of girls of all colors.


Piecing, Freeform Machine embroidery and quilting, Applique.


Cotton and cotton blend fabrics, knit synthetic fabric with sparkles, cotton batting.

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