Cover art for podcast Heat and Light

Heat and Light

8 EpisodesProduced by The ConversationWebsite

1968 transformed life in the U.S. forever. Join us as we go deep into six lesser-known stories from that year, guided by people who were so affected they devoted their lives to studying those events. From the students who rose up in protest to American TV's first interracial kiss, and from the roots… read more


An Interracial Kiss - on Another Planet

In 1968 America, a country where interracial marriage had been legal nationwide for only a matter of months, the idea of romance between the races was still a controversial proposition. That made it all the more shocking when, in November of that year, William Shatner, a white man, kissed Nichelle Nichols, a black woman on the sci-fi show “Star Trek.” In this episode, Phillip discusses why the racial climate of 1968 made an interracial kiss seem so far-fetched that it caused a stir even when it took place on a show set centuries in the future with historian Matthew Delmont of Arizona State University. Delmont’s connection to the topic is more than academic – his parents, one white, one black, met in 1968. Warning: This episode contains a racial slur.

Read more in this accompanying article from Matthew Delmont: TV’s first interracial kiss launched a lifelong career in activism

And find out about other aspects of 1968 in other articles from The Conversation and our global sister sites on our website.

Music on this episode: “And never come back” by Soft and Furious, found on, licensed under CC0 1

Archival Audio: Star Trek_Kirk & Uhura kiss

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1/8) Movie CLIP - Pleased to Meet You (1967) HD

Supreme Court Clips - Loving v. Virginia - interracial marriage

Malcolm X in Speaks in Solidarity With the School Boycotts in NYC (1964)

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