“I certainly see more doors opening for Black women and people of color…and of course, I celebrate it. But I also have a healthy yearning for more…”— Sonequa Martin-Green, ESSENCE.com
ESSENCE’s new digital cover features Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green who continues her upward trajectory on the iconic sci-fi series in her role as First Officer Michael Burnham. In the piece, Out of This World, she talks about diversity in Hollywood and the impact of her role on the next generation (pun intended.) As one of the few faces of color to have navigated the zombie apocalypse on The Walking Dead, she’s now the first Black woman to be a lead on a Star Trek series in its 53-year history. Here, she talks to ESSENCE about:
- ON BEING A ROLE MODEL TO YOUNG GIRLS: “It’s kind of surreal…Parents tell me their girls are interested in math, science, and technology after watching the show. That’s incredible. It makes me want to work harder. It makes me more grateful.”
- ON LOVING HER “STAR TREK” ROLE: “I saw this vision to humanize Star Trek in a way we hadn’t seen before. That’s the kind of stuff I love. That’s so challenging and fulfilling as an actor…Here we have this Black woman who is completely burst open. You’re seeing the inner workings of this Black woman being a human being. We need to see Black people and other people of color and women be human and be broken and be vulnerable. I think that’s a big part of how we move forward.”
- ON THE NEED FOR MORE DIVERSITY IN HOLLYWOOD: “I certainly see more doors opening for Black women and people of color…And of course, I celebrate it. But I also have a healthy yearning for more. The way to continue opening these doors is by continuing to do what we’re doing: telling these varied, interesting, compelling, ugly, beautiful, human stories. We need for people who look like us to tell them because otherwise, we[’ll] continue to see ourselves through other people who are different from us. So I appreciate our writers and producers for standing by this vision to have a Black woman at the helm. I’m so very humbled by it and innovated by it. I just hope that this keeps spreading. I think it will…”
In the piece, written by Candice Frederick, Martin-Green is stunning in looks and accessories by Kimora Lee Simmons, Zadig & Voltaire, Maki Oh, Kenneth Jay Lane and more. Photos are by Derek Reed and styling by Mecca James Williams.
For more on this and more stories, visit ESSENCE.com.