Early Life and Educational Background
Sonequa Chaunténée Martin was born on the 21st March 1985, in Russellville, Alabama, USA, to Charles Winston Martin and Vera Lynn Martin-Moore, the younger of two daughters. Her parents divorced when she was still young, and both eventually married other partners, and as a result, she has three half-sisters from her father’s side.
Growing up in Russellville, she had a relatively normal childhood, and planned to make a career as a psychologist. It wasn’t until her 10th grade theater rehearsal that she decided to pursue acting instead. She recalls, ‘I thought I was going to be a psychologist, which is interesting because it’s very similar to acting. I was fascinated with human behavior and why people do what they do. I was in the middle of rehearsal in 10th grade when I had this epiphany’. Subsequently, Sonequa matriculated from high school, and enrolled at the University of Alabama in pursuit of a theater degree, which she gained in 2007.
The aspiring actress began her career while she was still in university, with a role in the film “Not Quite Right”. She also appeared in many theater productions up until her graduation, after which she relocated to Los Angeles to further pursue her career. She appeared in the films “I-Can-D” and “Blind Thoughts” before her television show debut in 2008 in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. The following year saw her in the films “Toe to Toe” and “Rivers Wash Over Me”, as well as recurring roles in the television shows “Army Wives” and “The Good Wife”.
She went on to appear in the films “Da Brick”, “Yelling to the Sky”, “Shockwave”, “Darkside”, and had recurring roles in “Gossip Girl” and “NYC 22”. She then earned her most popular role in 2012, in “The Walking Dead” as Sasha Williams, appearing in 45 episodes of the series.
The following years saw her appear in shows including “Once Upon a Time”, “New Girl” and “Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”. In 2017, she earned another popular role in “Star Trek: Discovery”, appearing in 42 episodes and counting. She’s also appeared as herself in “Lip Sync Battle”, “After Trek” and “The Ready Room”, and lent her voice to the video games “Fast & Furious Crossroads” and “Star Trek Online”. Her most recent roles have been in the films “The Outside Story”, “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, and a voice role in the show “Invincible”.
Husband— Kenric Green
Sonequa first met fellow actor Kenric Green at the McCarter Theater in New Jersey while they were acting in “Fetch Clay, Make Man”. The pair began dating, before moving to New York together to support each other’s careers. They eventually tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on the 4th December 2010. About five years later the couple was blessed with their first child, a son named after his father as Kenric Justin Green II. After another five years, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Saraiyah Chaunté Green, who has her mother’s initials as well as her middle name. Sonequa revealed on her Instagram page that both her children were home births. She said, ‘… now both of our children have been born in the water. We never felt that anything was missing, but now that she’s here, we feel a perfect sense of completeness… Thanks be to Yeshua, she’s the final piece to our Love-given puzzle’.
The couple have been married for almost 12 years, but don’t shy away from professing their love for each other on the internet. In an October 2020 interview with Wired, the actress spoke lovingly of her husband, saying, ‘That is a hunk of a man, love of my life: Kenric’. Her husband also regularly posts pictures of his wife and him with sweet captions; he also posts about projects she’s working on. For her birthday in 2022, Kenric posted a picture of his wife with the caption, ‘This is my wife. Her name is Sonequa. She is my everything…’.
More About Kenric Green
Kenric Green was born other 30th March 1982, in South Carolina, USA. Not much is known concerning his early years, education background and family history, except that he attended Mt. San Antonio College. He made his acting debut in 2006 in the film “They’re Just My Friends”, followed by “Helen at Risk” and “Let Me Go”. He made his television show debut in 2012 in “Evil I”, followed by “Just Divorced” and roles in the films “Victoriana” and “On The Bridge”.
He was cast in his most popular role in 2014, with the television show “The Walking Dead”, in which he starred in 26 episode,s alongside his wife. He went on to appear in the television shows “The Originals” and “Hawaii Five-0”, and the film “Badges”. His most recent roles have been in “Star Trek: Discovery”, and a voice role in “Star Trek: Short Treks”.
Work in STEM
One of Sonequa’s idols, the late Nichelle Nichols, spent her time after starring in “Star Trek” in advocating for girls and women of color to take up STEM— science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields; in particular, she encouraged them to apply for astronaut positions at NASA. Sonequa was inspired by the actress-turned-advocate, saying, ‘… She’s very much 1,000% actually a hero’.
Following in the footsteps of her idol, Sonequa also ventured into STEM by partnering with Million Girls Moonshot, a non-governmental organization that strives to provide opportunities for a million girls to pursue STEM programs. The organization dedicated $100,000 to send 16 girls on an all expense paid trip to Space Camp for a week. The first group of girls were presented with ceremonial stars labelled with each of their names, and they also received a surprise from the actress, who recalled, ‘ I was so excited for them to see my face and see my love and support for them. I really hope this is an experience that they carry with them, something that they always remember. I hope it sets them on their path’. After Nichelle’s death in 2022, Sonequa hopes to continue her idol’s legacy saying, ‘I know she said when she was still here, ‘If I’ve inspired you at all, I just ask that you continue this legacy’. ‘.
Awards and Achievements
- In 2018, Sonequa won a Saturn Award for her performance in “Star Trek: Discovery”, and in 2019, a Saturn Award in the category of Best Actress on Television for the same role, and again in 2021 in the category of Best Actress in Streaming Presentation.
Hobbies, Favorite Things and Interesting Facts
- Sonequa is a University of Alabama theatre alum; she’s appeared in numerous productions, regularly performing in shows at the Alpha Psi Omega’s Guerrilla Theatre.
- She experienced sudden grief when her parents passed away in April of 2021, both within 24 hours of each other, although not of the same cause. In an interview with Essence, she revealed that her mother battled three types of cancer: colon, stomach and breast, and survived all three illnesses. Her half-sister has also battled breast cancer.
- Since 2016, the actress has been the ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer, using her platform to encourage clinical trials in a service announcement entitled “Stand Up For All Of Us”, which aims to increase awareness on the significance of taking part in clinical trials, especially in ethnically diverse areas.
- When asked how she manages to keep a balance between her family, career and public service, she replied: ‘When I wake up, I want to please God, then my husband and our son. I’ve got career goals, too, so it’s about being connected to my true purpose and having awesome time-management skills!’.
- She experienced her first pregnancy while filming the fifth season of “The Walking Dead” – in order to hide her pregnancy bump, she would crouch behind dead bodies or use larger guns that covered up her mid-riff, as well as wearing many layers of clothing, as well as take advantage of the best camera angles so as to not show her baby bump.
- Sonequa proudly made history when she became the first black woman to head “Star Trek: Discovery”. She celebrated Black History Month with an Instagram post captioned, ‘As the first Black woman to lead this franchise…I am astounded. I am honored. I am duty-bound. Happy Black History Month’.
- Sonequa first met the late actress Nichelle Nichols on the red carpet at the premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery”, the latter being one of the first black actresses to star in the show, 50 years ago. Sonequa recalls the late actress’s words, ‘And she whispered in my ear. ‘Take care. It’s yours now.’’.
- One of her cringiest moments is when she appeared for a callback for a role, but forgot the lines!
- The actress has many firsts: her first car being a 1985 white-colored Toyota Camry, her first job at a Domino’s Pizza place when she was 16, and her first big purchase being custom suede Louboutin heels.
- The actress is evidently religious, and attends church regularly. She said, ‘On a Sunday, you’d find me at church in the morning, either in person or virtually. Then the rest of the day is all about hanging out as a family’.
- She enjoys playing with her children and building Legos with them. Her favorite family games include Rocket League and Would You Rather.
- Sonequa also enjoys receiving gifts from her children, saying ‘I love when my kids give me a present because they were moved by a desire to please me, and then took the time to make it happen. It’s just the sweetest thing!’.
- She keeps a memory of all the films she’s appeared in by taking her name canvas from the cast chair.
- Of all the places she’s visited on vacation, Israel and Paris are her favorites.
- Her favorite show is “Death Becomes Her”.
- Her favorite book is “Meditations of the Heart”, written by Howard Thurman.
- Her favorite clothing in her wardrobe are her oversized blazers.
- She is a sketch portrait artist, who recently discovered that she can also paint.
- In her opinion, the actress believes that the best meal she makes, ‘… is every single breakfast food. I can really throw down at breakfast’.
- The actress is active on social media, and has 1.2 million followers on Instagram.
Appearance and Clothing Style
Sonequa is a female of African ethnicity and American nationality. She has a height of 5ft 4ins (1.64 m) and a weight of 128lbs. (58kg), with vital statistics of 34-26-34. As of 2022, she is 37 years old.