Spock: Teenage Outcast

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Title: Spock: Teenage Outcast
Creator: F.C. (original letter writer) and Leonard Nimoy
Date(s): 1968
Medium: print, online
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic:
External Links:
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Spock: Teenage Outcast is an essay by Leonard Nimoy in response to a teenaged fan's letter the May 1968 issue of the magazine "FaVE!."

Excerpt from the letter: "I know that you are half Vulcan and half human and you have suffered because of this," the girl named F.C. wrote. "My mother is Negro and my father is white and I am told this makes me a half-breed. ... I guess I'll never have any friends."

Some Topics Discussed

  • popularity, fitting in with the crowd, self-realization
  • Spock as a model of overcoming challenges

The Article Scans

Scans of the essay were posted in 2013 at My Star Trek Scrapbook. The scans are also reprinted at Buzzfeed, Huffington Post[1], NPR's Code Switch[2], Pinterest, Reddit and various personal blogs. It experienced renewed interest following Nimoy's death in 2015. The essay was discussed in the New Yorker[3] and the British newspaper The Telegraph[4], and cited in María Triana's Managing Diversity in Organizations: A Global Perspective (Routledge, 2017).

Excerpts from the Essay

Most of the Vulcan kids didn't like Spock because he was half human. So they wouldn't include him in all the things they did. He was very lonely and no one understood him. And Spock was heartbroken because he wasn't popular. but it was only the need for popularity that was ruining his happiness. The question was: which was more important, being "popular" with the pack who might turn against him at any minute or being true to himself?
He 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.

Fan Reactions

The article is interesting in that it was Nimoy's response to a fan letter from a mixed-race girl that was struggling with fitting in. There is real concern and thoughtfulness in his response, and it was both interesting and compassionate; as he framed his advice in the form of telling how young Spock might have dealt with the stresses of feeling excluded from the group and being bullied. He used the fan's interest in the character, and how they related to the half-human, half-Vulcan Spock, to share some down-to-earth encouragement. [5]

References

  1. ^ Star Trek Actor Leonard Nimoy, 'Spock,' Responds to Teen With An Inspiring Letter About Fitting In (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post, Dec. 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Leonard Nimoy's Advice To A Biracial Girl In 1968". Code Switch, Feb. 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Virginia Cannon, "The Political Mr. Spock". New Yorker, March 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Paul Kendall, "Spock actor Leonard Nimoy wrote inspiring letter to victim of racism". The Telegraph, Feb. 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Leonard Nimoy for FaVE magazine, May 1968, 1968 Article "Spock: Teenage Outcast", scans posted by the fan known only as Frederick to his My Star Trek Scrapbook blog, February 12, 2013.