If every day I wake up and I say to myself, “Okay, I’m gonna do a brown male thing today…” — you know what I mean?
People say, “What was it like being, you know, a black captain?” You can’t play that! You can’t play that; how do you play a color? You can’t do that. What I can do is wake up in the morning like I told you, as Samuel and Eva’s child. And who is that? A human being. And brown and male and American and all these things. That’s what I bring. And they saw that and decided they were gonna do that. There was nothing in what I read, at least, that identified him as such. Avery Brooks, at Rose City Comic Con, on what it felt like playing Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and whether he ever felt like he was doing something significant by portraying a black captain. (via adamthealien)
- Tempest: One of the scenes from [Far Beyond The Stars] that struck me is, after Benny finishes the Deep Space Nine story and all the other writers love it, the editor says: “I like the story. It’s good, it’s very good. But you know I can’t print it. Your hero’s a Negro captain. I’m a magazine editor. I’m not a crusader. I’m not here to change the world.”
- Avery Brooks: That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
- Tempest: Yes, it does!
- Brooks: You’ve heard that?
- Tempest: I hear it often.
- Brooks: That’s what I thought.
- Tempest: That’s almost exactly the conversation we have with some science fiction and fantasy magazine editors today.
- Brooks: In 2013.
- Tempest: And that episode was from 1997 looking back to 1953. Sometimes I feel a bit of despair that things are never going to change. We’ve clearly been having this conversation for a while.
- Brooks: Some things have changed. But again, it’s the substance of what we talk about. Change is what? Every day is change. Every day is movement. If we get locked into the polemic of it all and don’t find a way to integrate these things that we believe in into our lives, that’s another matter. So the complaint will remain some years hence. Because we’re locked in the polemic of it rather than investing in our own lives and implementing what we think is change. It’s the way we live that’s important.