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Avery Brooks: Benjamin Sisko Does Not Define Who or What I Am

Avery Brooks: Benjamin Sisko Does Not Define Me
Avery Brooks: Benjamin Sisko Does Not Define Me

Last weekend, while in Nashville for Creation’s Official Star Trek Convention, Avery Brooks, who played Captain Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Spavce Nine, discussed the character, his on-screen family, breaking down racial barriers and not becoming typecast, during an interview with the Nashville Scene.

Brooks, who played Star Trek‘s first African-American television captain, discussed his reaction to the show’s pilot script, “Emissary.”

“When I read the pilot script, it was the presentation of a man dealing with loss and raising a son, and how he handled those situations, that really got my attention,”

“Certainly the fact you have a black man in a command position is very important. That is something that goes far beyond just having black people working on a show, which itself is also very important. It goes to children being able to see themselves on screen and visualize that in the future they will be doing something of importance to the world at large. It addresses the situation of having all kinds of people interacting and cooperating for the mutual survival of the planet. The writing was exceptional, and the funny thing is I initially said no to Star Trek. My wife convinced me to go to the audition. She was the one who said, ‘You can’t say no to this.'”

“I was very grateful for the part, and remain very grateful today for what Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has meant to me in terms of my career,”

“But it was not the first job I’ve ever had in the business, nor was it the last one. The program is one that I am extremely proud to have been a part. I will always have fond memories, especially in terms of it giving me a worldwide forum and letting the world see black and brown people doing all types of things without their color being the critical aspect of what or who they are.”

Avery Brooks as Sisko in the DS9 series premier "Emissary"

Avery Brooks as Sisko in the DS9 series premier "Emissary"

He went on to talk about his on-screen son, Jake Sisko, played by Cirroc Lofton.

“The relationship between Sisko and his son was also very important,”

“That was something else you still don’t often see on air, at least as it concerns black and brown men and their sons. We got to play complicated, emotional and intricate scenes, and we got to have tender and fun moments. It wasn’t a pat relationship or an easy one, and it was very realistic. The show never took the easy way out when it came to situations, be they personal or political, and that provided us with a lot of great things to do as actors.”

Brooks in the DS9 fifth season episode "Trials and Tribble-ations"

Brooks in the DS9 fifth season episode "Trials and Tribble-ations"

Brook, who has played other memorable roles outside of Star Trek, is also remembered for his part in Spencer for Hire, as Spencer’s sidekick, Hawk.

“When people come up to me and ask what being Benjamin Sisko meant, I understand why they are asking me that,”

“I don’t get mad or upset. I just let them know he was one aspect of my life, one role that was good to me, but not one that defines who or what I am. But I’m happy so many people remember it and remember me, and I hope the full message of Star Trek, that humanity must interact and evolve and survive in all its different experiences and embodiments, is what they really remember.”

As a reminder, 2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Written By

Founded TrekNews.net in 2011. UX, visual designer, and published photographer based in the Boston area. Connoisseur of Star Trek, sci-fi, '80s horror, synthwave sounds, and tacos. You can follow Brian on Twitter @brianwilkins.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Matthew Markovich

    June 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    The Emissary lives! Always liked Captain Benjamin “Hawk” Sisko the best. That Sisko didn’t start out as a Captain with a ship and then got promoted and given a ship and to see the progression uf his character was different than all the other series. Still my favorite over all Star Trek series.

  2. Jenny

    November 19, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    He was my favorite captain and Deep Space Nine my favorite Star Trek. Great writing, great acting.

    • Anthony Russo

      May 26, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Agree.

  3. Cfunk

    June 20, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    What a well-spoken man.

  4. C West

    September 10, 2016 at 4:34 am

    I thought DS9 was the best ST series, acting, writing, realistic, why no movie ? , why little tv, cinematic exposure for Brooks reminds me of DS9 episode “Far Beyond the Stars”

  5. Ryan Malcolm McGuinness

    September 27, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I heard a rumour that he hated Star Trek and was biting the heads off of people. Glad to get the real story.

    • Ron Detter

      August 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      How do you know this is the real story? If Brooks was biting off peoples heads, maybe it was towards the end of the series perhaps. I’ve always heard or thought that he never goes to Star Trek conventions.

      They NEED a DS9 movie, that closes up the existing HUGE friggin hole of Sisko and the prophets. If the prophets rescued him from the fire caves on Bajor, there should be a movie that shows the work he’s done, doing, and an eventual return to his son Jake and his GF/wife Cassidy Yates, and just close everything up, 2 hour 30 minute movie. THEN they could do a second movie, that portrays how the Federation, Cardassians, Romulans, Vulcans and Klingons are getting along, or not getting along. The Cardassians rebuilding their homeworld, ALL of this needs fleshed out in some movie(s).

      There’s just too many open holes that were left, and to this day, they will never be closed, not until we can get some sort of explanation on the whole thing.

  6. Justsayin

    December 20, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Love the star trek series and liked all the captains but really liked captain sisko and janeway- some real good acting so good that people become so attached to all these trek characters- think it’s a shame they never won Emmys.

  7. Ed Patterson

    August 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I never saw avery brooks as a black man in a star series. I saw him as an awesome actor would did a great job in this series. He really was believable and amazing. Truly one of the best if not The best.

  8. Guestly

    August 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I enjoyed the read, but upon reading the bio stating that the writer is an apple enthusiast. I can no longer trust the judgement of such a warped mind.

    Still Sisko is my dude

  9. Jeffrey Lewis

    August 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I loved this show and I still do. It’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s a shame he wasn’t involved with the documentary that just came out.

  10. Pingback: Se rumorea que Avery Brooks regresará como Benjamin Sisko en el futuro papel de Star Trek - elblogtecnologico

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