Leonard Nimoy’s 1968 Letter To A Troubled Biracial Teen

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

Nimoy

With the Internet and Twitter, we take it for granted these days that it’s easy to interact with the writers, directors, actors, etc. behind our favorite movies and shows and books and games. You’re a lot more likely to get a response, too, since responding doesn’t require that much of an investment, especially if it’s just a few short sentences via Twitter. But it wasn’t all that long ago when contacting your creative idols meant sitting down and writing an actual letter, and who knew whether you’d ever hear back. In 1968, a teenage biracial girl wrote a letter to Spock, a heartbreaking letter about how she didn’t fit in and was afraid she’d never have any friends. Her letter appeared in the magazine FaVE, and eventually Spock — or rather actor Leonard Nimoy — wrote her back.

The girl, who identified herself only as “F.C.” felt a connection to Spock. After all, Spock was half-Vulcan and half-Human, and often felt separated from both of his “halves,” not fully welcomed by either. So surely he would understand the fears of a scared girl whose mother was black and father white, in a time when that was far from accepted by society at large.

Nimoy responded, in part:

[Spock] said to himself: ‘Not everyone will like me. But there will be those who will accept me just for what I am. I will develop myself to such a point of excellence, intelligence and brilliance that I can see through any problem and deal with any crisis. I will become such a master of my own abilities and career that there will be a place for me. People of all races will need me and not be able to do without me.’ And that’s just what he did. And when I see him standing there on the bridge of the Enterprise, facing danger and life-and-death problems so cooly and with so much intelligence, I’m sure he made the right decision.

Rather than simply send off a short response, Nimoy responded with a lengthy and heartfelt letter, which spanned across two pages in FaVE. You can see the full response below. It will give you even more respect for Nimoy as both a man and a celebrity, it may put a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye, and it will make you hope that F.C. found her place, even if society didn’t make it easy for her. Most of all, it will remind you that, in spite of that old Vulcan mantra, sometimes attending to the needs of the one can make all the difference.

You can click the images below for larger versions (just in case, you know, you get a speck of dust in your eye).

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