Every year for Black History Month (also my birthday month), I’m going to attempt to learn something daily to celebrate the rich history that people of African descent have shared with the world. I’ll be posting a daily Black History fact for your consumption, you don’t need to participate but it’s happening. Last year, many of you enjoyed it. For the rest of you, it’s only for 28 days so just deal and learn something. Ideally, I’d like to share some of my art with it.
Today I’ll be sharing the most disputed “interracial kiss.” Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner are often are often credited with the first interracial TV kiss). However, “the world’s oldest example of an interracial kiss on a television show took place in a live play broadcast in Britain in 1962, researchers have established.” The episode of Star Trek, “Plato’s Stepchildren”, came 6 years later. “It is often ignored that ‘Mirror, Mirror’, which originally aired on October 6, 1967, featured a scripted interracial kiss between Eurasian actress Barbara Luna and the aforementioned William Shatner a year prior. So, more accurately, the first interracial kiss with a person of African descent on television in the U. S. was by Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner on an episode of Star Trek in 1968.
During that time-period race was a very touchy topic in the country (in 1958 the Lovings got married in Virginia and that was an ordeal) so two versions of the scene were shot by NBC to avoid angering their Southern affiliates. The scene with their kiss was shown anyway. “Star Trek was canceled in 1969 over low rating but has since exploded into one of the most popular film and television franchises in the world.”
Live Long and Prosper.