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The presence of interracial romantic relationships on television today have happened frequently enough that they’re no longer hot topics. For Star Trek, however, the cult classic sci-fi show featured American television’s first interracial kiss in 1968, which was a racially turbulent time for the country.

The NBC series aired the “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode on November 22, 1968, which featured the smooch between Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner, and Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols. Regarding the plot, the kiss was forced by telekinetic powers by outside forces. Some accounts say that this angle was stressed as to not anger White viewers in the South.

In later reports, both Shatner and Nichols have seemingly conflicting views of the scene. In an interview, Shatner claimed their lips never touched. Nichols says in her own recollections that the kiss happened and was very real.

Little Known Black History Fact: ‘Star Trek’ And TV’s First Interracial Kiss  was originally published on

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