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Star Trek: The Original Series' surprising role in US civil rights

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(Read caption) The Google logo today pays homage to the legendary TV show Star Trek: The Original Series.

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The Google on Friday depicts cartoon versions of the crew of the Starship Enterprise – an homage to the legendary television show Star Trek: The Original Series, which celebrates its 46th anniversary on Saturday. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Google designer Ryan Germick said he intended the doodle (pictured above) to be the ultimate geek homage. 

"For me, [Star Trek] was a vision for the future," Germick said. "I think it was also that it was multicultural, pro-science, and full of curiosity and passion. I think like a lot of good science-fiction, it sort of says a lot about its present era. We can really appreciate what Star Trek did in its time. As an adult, you can appreciate how progressive it was. You learned to be compassionate towards all kinds of people – even alien creatures."

Germick is right: As a television series, Star Trek was far ahead of its time. For starters, there was the multiethnic cast, which included Asian-American and African-American actors. And then in November of 1968, there was "Plato's Stepchildren," an episode that featured one of the first interracial kisses in television history. The participants? Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, and Lieutenant Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols


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