Via ignite the midnight petroleum
Having finished my watch-through of TNG a month or two ago it’s very novel to have a captain who really likes kids
so here is sisko surrounded by floating babies because I wasn’t happy with anything I drew today
Via ~Kingdom Burning Down~
15 Days of DS9 // Day Six: Favorite Familial Relationship
Ben: It’s your life, Jake, you have to choose your own way. There is only one thing I want from you: find something you love. Then do it the best you can.
Jake: I’ll try.
Ben: Good. Then you make the old man proud.
I meant to write this post last week, but work and stuff gets in the way.
I’m so glad I’ve started following Star Trek bloggers, because I finally get to say some important things here that I’ve always wanted to say: Benjamin Sisko is far more significant in Star Trek as more than just the first black captain to lead a show; he’s also the first parent. Of the other captains, Kirk had a son he wasn’t told about, and Picard, Janeway, and Archer were not procreative during their time aboard their ships. Of all of the Star Trek images that matter to me, Benjamin Sisko being the father that he was matters most to me.
Let me start with the quote posted below the gifset and talk about Jake Sisko. I’ve heard over the years many dismissive comments from Star Trek fans about Jake Sisko. The usual comment is “How did he not become a Star Trek officer like his dad? Sisko is one of the coolest!” That statement shows a complete lack of respect for the characters and their motivations. That criticism shows that the viewer did not seek to understand either Benjamin Sisko or Joseph Sisko. The only people who are in any position to express any displeasure with the choices Jake makes are his father, grandfather and MAYBE Dax. With that in mind, look at what Benjamin Sisko told Jake about his desire to be a writer. He told Jake so make his own decisions and to do something he loves and do it well; that’s what will make him proud. Benjamin Sisko was not raising Jake to be a good Starfleet officer. He was raising Jake to be a good man.
Viewers should ask themselves why Jake Sisko would even want to be a Star Trek officer. In Jake Sisko’s life, he has been moved around a lot, he and his father have almost been killed multiple times, and Starfleet life took his mother from him. Why the hell would he want that for himself? However, we saw throughout the entire series that Jake lived up to all of the ideals of the Federation. When they first encounter the Jem’Hadar, it is Jake who disables the autopilot and manages to find the rescue party to get them moving along. When Nog’s culture prohibits him from going to school, Jake sneaks out to teach Nog how to read against his own dad’s wishes. Jake stays behind on DS9 during the Dominion take over to find a way to be useful. In an alternate timeline where his dad gets trapped away in time, Jake puts aside his own desires to save his father and the future. Jake Sisko had heart and was a great person.
Next, in the ongoing battles for equality, representation is important. There are a number of stereotypes about black men abandoning their children and not being good fathers. The writing team for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine establish that Benjamin Sisko is from New Orleans. I am a New Orleanian, and this city has a predominantly black population. I also argue that Benjamin Sisko went to St. Augustine High School here in New Orleans, because he’s shown to be a spiritual man, he’s in the military, and is sensitive to issues of 20th century in the 24th century. St. Augustine High School is an all-male, black Catholic school in New Orleans that is a part of the New Orleans Civil Rights Era battles, and many alumni have joined the military. The men of this school are taught from a young age to be fathers and respectful of women. After Jennifer is killed and Sisko is transferred to a far-away, dangerous posting, he doesn’t just send Jake to live with his dad (like Worf did). He keeps Jake with him and continues to be involved constantly with Jake’s life. He encourages Jake’s passions and respects Jake’s decisions when they are just. Since the 90s, we haven’t seen many black fathers in lead roles on shows in a long time. Benjamin Sisko is so important.
The other criticism I’ve also seen about Sisko is that he’s the most emotionless of the captains. I think this is also just a lack of perception. Benjamin Sisko is one of the most confrontational of the captains we’ve had. Early in the show, Odo wanted to resign his position when Starfleet assigned someone to manage Starfleet personnel. Before Odo could even come to Sisko and complain, Sisko tells the Starfleet officer that Odo is in charge and deal with it, and then abruptly dismisses the officer. When Odo comes to him, he doesn’t back down or dissemble. He tells Odo to chill out and that he’s in charge. Whenever Kira gets aggressive, Sisko matches her establishes his respect for her, but also reasserts that he is in command of the station. Sisko has also shown a deep compassion. Dax is the perfect allegory for genderqueerness, and Odo treats Dax completely respectfully. He doesn’t get weird with Jadzia because she holds the memories and personality of his friend and mentor; he befriends her and learns to rebuild that friendship with Dax.
The relationships people form with each other are so important in Star Trek. Benjamin and Jake Sisko are as important to black men as Nyota Uhura is to black women. Both of these characters are so inspiring for me. Both characters present positive representation for black men, with Benjamin Sisko carefully and successfully leading Starfleet and Bajor through the entire upheaval of the wormhole and the Dominion War, and Jake finding his own way and not just being a copy of his father are incredibly important. Through Benjamin Sisko, black men see that they can stand next to our other hero captains Kirk and Picard. Through Jake Sisko, black men see that they are in charge of their own lives and can be the men they choose to be.
This is some lovely. I think this is the kind of stuff Avery Brooks really saw, too. He mentioned at Star Trek Las Vegas how upset he was with the ending of DS9, because they said to him, “We thought you’d be happy! You became a god!”
And Avery said, “But you just showed a black man leaving his son and pregnant wife, and that is not Ben Sisko,” and just damn.
Via Real is just a matter of perception
15 DAYS OF DS9
- DAY 06: Favorite Family/Familial Relationship