One of Sonequa Martin-Green's favorite quotes is: "I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love." They're the words of Lorraine Hansberry, writer of the timeless play A Raisin in the Sun, and appeared in her posthumous autobiography, To Be Young, Gifted and Black.
Over nearly two seasons as Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery, Martin-Green has breathed life into numerous powerful lines, prompting fans to think, cry and even laugh as she elevates the dialogue by the sheer force of her talent and warmth. Today is Martin-Green's birthday, and we are marking the occasion by sharing some of Martin-Green's best lines as Burnham.
"We come in peace. That's why we're here. Isn't that the whole idea of Starfleet?"
"From my youth on Vulcan, I was raised to believe that service was my purpose. And I carried that conviction to Starfleet. I dreamed of a day when I would command my own vessel, and further the noble objectives of this great institution. That dream is over. The only ship I know in ruins. My crew … gone. My captain … my friend. I wanted to protect them from war. From the enemy. And now we are at war … and I am the enemy."
"When I was a kid, after my parents were killed, my foster mother on Vulcan used to read [Alice's Adventures in Wonderland] to me and her son. She and I were the only humans in the house. That's how I learned that the real world doesn't always adhere to logic. Sometimes down is up. Sometimes up is down. Sometimes, when you're lost, you're found."
"Can you bury your heart? Can you hide your decency? Can you continue to pretend to be one of them? Even as, little by little, it kills the person you really are."
"We are no longer on the eve of battle. Even so, I come to ask myself the same question that young soldier asked the general all those years ago: 'How do I defeat fear?' The general's answer? 'The only way to defeat fear is to tell it no.' No, we will not take shortcuts on the path to righteousness. No, we will not break the rules that protect us from our basest instincts. No, we will not allow desperation to destroy moral authority. I am guilty of all these things. Some say that in life, there are no second chances. Experience tells me this that this is true. But we can only look forward. We have to be torchbearers casting the light so we may see our path to lasting peace. We will continue exploring, discovering new worlds, new civilizations. Yes - that is the United Federation of Planets ... Yes … that is Starfleet. Yes, that is who we are … And who we will always be."
“I want to have faith, but in its absence only duty remains.”
"No matter how angry you are with me, you have to know how much I love him. Spock is my brother. I will protect him."
"Do you actually think the beard is working?"
"What? ... No. ... No, I'm not going to eject you into space. ... We can fight this, Airiam. ... The system corrupted her. If I can break in and take it offline, she'll be free. ... Captain, I don't want to disobey your orders, but if this works. ... One more minute, please! ... So sorry. ... Because of me? ... What is Project Daedalus?"
Please join StarTrek.com in wishing Martin-Green a happy birthday!