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“You cannot, and you must not,” Nichelle recalled Martin saying in her autobiography, per AJC. “Don’t you realize how important your presence, your character is? … Don’t you see? This is not a Black role, and this is not a female role.”
“You have the first non-stereotypical role on television, male or female,” he continued. “You have broken ground. For the first time, the world sees us as we should be seen, as equals, as intelligent people — as we should be.”