Nichelle Nichols

5th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon - Arrivals

Nichols in 2012, photo by

Birth Name: Grace Dell Nichols

Place of Birth: Robbins, Cook, Illinois, United States

Date of Birth: December 28, 1932

Ethnicity: African-American, as well as one eighth Irish

Nichelle Nichols is an American actress and musician. She is known for playing Lt. Uhura in the Star Trek franchise.

She is the daughter of Lishia Mae (Parks) and Samuel Earl Nichols, who was Mayor of Robbins, Illinois. Her father was born in Missouri, and her mother was from Oklahoma. She has a son with her former husband, dancer Foster Johnson.

Her brother, Thomas, was a member of the Heaven’s Gate cult, and died with the group in 1997.

Nichelle’s paternal grandfather was named Samuel Gillespie Nichols (also known as Samuel Gillespie, the son of James Nichols and Mary N.). Samuel was born in Louisiana or Mississippi, to an Irish-born father and an African-American mother.

Nichelle’s paternal grandmother was named Lydia A. Myers (the daughter of Jacob Myers/Meyers and Blanche). Lydia was born in Mississippi or Louisiana.

Nichelle’s maternal grandfather was Henry Parks (the son of George Parks and Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Pasto/Parker). Henry was born in Alabama.

Nichelle’s maternal grandmother was named Malissa Stinson/Hibbett. Malissa was born in Tennessee or Alabama.

Sources: Genealogies of Nichelle Nichols –

Nichelle Nichols on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s parents on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Nichelle’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s paternal grandparents, Samuel Gillespie Nichols and Lydia Myers, on the 1880 U.S. Census –
Samuel Gillespie Nichols and Lydia Myers on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s maternal grandparents, Henry Parks and Malissa Stinson/Hibbett, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

7 Responses

  1. fuzzybear44 says:

    Yeah on t.v.. However in real life a whole lot of white boys had a fixation for black women. So much so, the women had to walk home in groups and carry Straight Edge Razors, .22 guns , knives, just to get home at night

  2. andrew says:

    Samuel G. Nichols is listed as Missisippi-born

    • andrew says:

      Daughter of Samuel Earl Nichols, Sr., and Lishia Mae (Parks). Samuel was the Mayor of Robbins, Illinois.

      Nichelle’s paternal grandparents were Samuel Gillespie Nichols/Samuel Gillespie Gillespie (the son of James Gillespie and Mary N.) and Lydia Myers (the daughter of Jacob Myers/Meyers and Blanche). Samuel adopted the name Nichols to distance himself from his family. Lydia was an ex-slave. James was a rich plantation owner with reportedly 400 slaves at one time.

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    Is it the lights, or did she get brighter?

  4. Freerk says:

    When I as a child saw her first in the seventies, she was a black goddess. She still is a good looking grandma I’d like to have. She chose the name of her character Uhura from the suahili word for “freedom”. Nothing more to say.

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