Being Brown in Space
Posted by Niall Harrison
4 April 2012
Continuing in a Star Trek vein, at Racialicious, Kendra James has an appreciation of clearly the best Trek captain, Benjamin Sisko, and the actor portraying him, Avery Brooks:
With a highly educated and vocal African American actor in the lead it’s no wonder you get get seven seasons of a series that takes his cultural experience to heart; Sisko is specifically written to acknowledge the implications that the color of his skin bring.
Not only are there references to Sisko’s New Orleans heritage, soul food, his love of baseball (particularly players Willie Mayes and Jackie Robinson) and bits of African art we see decorating his quarters, but we see him enter a relationship with an African-American woman, Kasidy Yates, enabling them–and the viewers–to discuss the cultural history of racism, of which Sisko is still acutely aware.
I've been rewatching DS9 this year, and (not an uncommon experience, this) finding that it holds up really quite well. I always liked Sisko, but even characters I wasn't so keen on first time around -- notably Dax and Bashir -- have really grabbed me this time.