Today’s featured Star Trek character is Avery Brooks AKA Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko. He served a Star Fleet Commander in Deep Space 9 station in the Bajor Sector.
Avery Franklin Brooks (born October 2, 1948) is an American actor. Brooks is perhaps best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk, and as Dr. Robert Sweeney in the Academy Award-nominated film American History X.
Star Trek: Benjamin Sisko[edit source]
Brooks is best known in popular culture for his role as Commander—and later Captain—Benjamin Sisko on the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which ran for seven seasons from 1993 to 1999.
Brooks won the role of Commander Benjamin Sisko by beating 100 other actors from all racial backgrounds to become the first African-American captain to lead a Star Trek series. What appealed to Brooks about the role was the opportunity to give hope to young people. “Today, many of our children, especially black males, do not project that they will live past the age of 19 or 20,” he told Michael Logan of TV Guide. “Star Trek allows our children the chance to see something they might never otherwise imagine.”
He directed nine episodes of the series, including “Far Beyond the Stars”, an episode focusing on racial injustice.
Series producer Ronald D. Moore said of Brooks: “Avery, like his character (Sisko), is a very complex man. He is not a demanding or ego-driven actor, rather he is a thoughtful and intelligent man who sometimes has insights into the character that no one else has thought about. He has also been unfailingly polite and a classy guy in all my dealings with him.”
Brooks was born in Evansville, Indiana, the son of Eva Lydia (née Crawford), a chorale conductor and music instructor, and Samuel Brooks, a union official and tool and die worker. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Travis Crawford, was also a singer. When he was aged eight, his family later moved to Gary, Indiana, when Samuel Brooks was laid off from International Harvester. Of Gary, Brooks has said: “I was born in Evansville… but it was Gary, Indiana that made me.” The Brooks household was filled with music. His mother, who was among the first African-American women to earn a master’s degree in music at Northwestern University, taught music wherever the family lived. His father was in the choir Wings Over Jordan on CBS radio from 1937 to 1947, and his maternal uncle Samuel Travis Crawford was a member of the Delta Rhythm Boys. “Music is all around me and in me, as I am in it,” Brooks has said.
Brooks attended Indiana University and Oberlin College, and later completed his B.A., plus an M.F.A. from Rutgers University in 1976, becoming the first African American to receive an MFA in acting and directing from Rutgers.
What I really loved about character Captain Benjamin Sisko is that besides commanding Star Fleet, he portrayed a devoted and loving father to his son Jake played by Cirroc Lofton.
Check out these episodes:
***Deep Space 9 takes on racism***
Far Beyond the Stars
DS9 STARS COMMENTARY ON FAR BEYOND THE STARS
Star Trek: DS9 Sisko’s Problem
Penny Johnson Jerald (born March 14, 1961) is an American actress. She played Beverly Barnes on the HBO comedy series The Larry Sanders Show, Kasidy Yates on the syndicated science fiction series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sherry Palmer on the Fox action/drama series 24 and Captain Victoria “Iron” Gates on the ABC comedy-drama series Castle.
Jerald appeared in the 1997 film Absolute Power and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing freighter captain Kasidy Yates, the love interest for the series’ main character Benjamin Sisko, a recurring role which she played from 1995 to the show’s end in 1999. She also had a recurring guest role on ER as Lynette Evans from 1998 to 1999. She then appeared as Roscoe Dellums in the Emmy Award winning TV movie The Color of Friendship. Jerald also guest starred on Frasier, The Practice, Touched by an Angel and The X-Files.
Homefront Part 1-Season 4 where Brock Peters plays Captain Sisko’s father Father, son, and grandson.
THE VISITOR– Though a powerful episode, it just broke my heart.