Nichelle Nichols is best known for her role on the original series of Star Trek, as Communications Officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS enterprise. When she took on this role, she became one of the first black women to act in a major television series, not portraying a servant. Her character, specialising in alien linguistics and translation, was crucial to the show’s plotlines. Nichols is still acting at the age of 85.
Emma Goldman was an anarchist political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. First teacher contribution!
Sylvia Rivera was a trans woman whose role in the LGBTQ+ community was a catalyst to the forever evolving fight for equal civil rights of trans people. Not only was her determination and sacrifice when alive as a trans woman, street queen and sex worker crucial to the movement but also the legacy she left behind as reflected through the work of STAR, an organisation cofounded by Sylvia to help shelter LGBTQ+ homeless youth. To say the least Sylvia Rivera was an incredible woman who deserves more recognition.
An immigrant to London from India, Mrs Desai was a forced to be reckoned with. Born in Gujarat, she was passionate even at an early age, even campaigning for Indian independence before she then moved to Tanzania as an adult. However when Tanzania gained its independence, new governments adopted policies that discriminated against migrants. They were entitled to a settlement in the UK, therefore like many others, Mrs Desai made the trip to England.
Despite the diverse and disparate nature of the world itself, the world of Literature – or rather, the world of publicised, canonical literature – remains disappointingly homogenous. Audre Lorde sought to change this. A librarian by trade, Lorde was a writer, poet, feminist (and womanist) who largely focused on issues of and relating to: civil rights, feminism and the exploration of black female identity. Writing right up until her death in 1992, Lorde described herself both as a part of a “continuum of women” and a “concert of voices” within herself.