Space Jam's Sonequa Martin-Green on Finding the Adventures in Parenting: 'I Go Pretty Hard on Creating Worlds'

The mom of two, who stars with LeBron James in this summer's Space Jam: A New Legacy, shares some of her parenting wins, losses, and her superpower.

Sonequa Martin-Green portrait
Photo: George Pimentel/Getty

Known for leading Star Trek: Discovery beams into lighter sci-fi, Sonequa Martin-Green is starring alongside LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy, in theaters and on HBO Max on July 16. Martin-Green, who was 11 years old when the original Michael Jordan film came out 25 years ago, is now a mom of a 6-year-old son and an 11-month-old daughter. The actor shares some of her best and worst parenting moments.

Recent Parenting Win

When my son, Kenric, was younger, he used to ask all the time if he could marry me. I met him with love for feeling that way but also gently explained why it's not possible. I thought those days were over, but he recently said over dinner, "I think when I grow up, I'll marry you, Mommy." He's 6, and I'm a puddle on the floor.

Recent Parenting Miss

I exclusively breastfeed my daughter, Saraiyah, who turns 1 in July. Well, I recently went too many days without drinking enough water, and my production took a big hit. It can be rectified, but it's a very involved, multistep process. Sigh. Where's my gallon jug and my tinctures?

My Parenting Superpower

My imagination. I go pretty hard on creating worlds, characters, and adventures and finding new and exciting things to do and engage in while we play together.

My Parenting Kryptonite

My phone! I wanna cut the time it's in hand around my children by half. More than half!

I Feel Like a Cool Mom When

My son is glued to my side and we're laid out belly laughing. And if I make my daughter laugh, it's such a win.

I Feel Like an Uncool Mom When

My son sees me struggle with electronics, which unfortunately is often.

Meal My Son Loves

Rice and broccoli; it's his jam. Gloriously dependable.

Meal My Son Rejected

I made a chickpea salad one time that my son tried and said, "Um … I don't really like this very much."

I go pretty hard on creating worlds, characters, and adventures and finding new and exciting things to do and engage in while we play together.

Best Time of Day

At dinnertime, my son and I have our best conversations. With my daughter, bathtime and all the moments afterward before bed are such sweet bonding time.

Worst Time of Day

Leaving for work. I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love and show my children an example of following your dreams, but leaving them is still hard, every time.

Best Traits My Kids Got From Me

Kenric got my enthusiasm. I'm excited to see what Saraiyah's gotten from me as she gets older. For now, I'll say her eyes. They're blue, which is incredibly unique for a Black person, and I believe I passed them down to her from my maternal grandfather.

Still from Space Jam: A New Legacy
In Space Jam: A New Legacy, her fictional family calls on Bugs Bunny to beat bad guys. Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Unfortunate Traits My Kids Got From Me

My son doesn't always know when a joke is done. Definitely got that from me! My daughter shows signs of being impatient with objects when they don't operate the way she wants them to, and I think, "Daughter, I'm so sorry."

At Least I Have This Down

How I communicate my children's value and build their self-esteem

I Am Still Figuring This Out

Uh, everything else?

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's July 2021 issue as "Highs and Lows of Sonequa Martin-Green." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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