Upstate emcee Jeremiah Dew — known by his stage name, JDew — plans to capture the spirit and wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr. and Greenville community members on Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. for his “One Voice” program.
Held virtually for the first time, the production will be on Juneteenth, a holiday remembering the day in 1865 when African American slaves in Galveston, Texas, were told by Union troops that they were free — months after Confederate troops surrendered and years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
The event, called “One Voice: Black and Blue,” will have two sections. The first will focus on the experiences of King and of African American Greenvillians. JDew will recite a few speeches from King and then will have several individuals speak about their lived experiences. Then, JDew will host a Q&A with Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis.
Right now, JDew says, it’s “a good time to remember what protesting has been about, what it’s done for civil rights, what it’s done for black people.” The words of King, JDew says, can help us realize how change can come.
U.S. Rep. William Timmons, a Republican representing South Carolina district 4, helped sponsor JDew to travel to Washington, D.C., to produce part of the performance at the Lincoln Memorial and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
The event’s first part will be commentary free, says JDew. “We’re going to be able to be taken back in time with their one voices, so they use their one voice to affect change in their community, on a local level, the Greenvillians, as well as Dr. King on more of a national level,” he explains.
In that section, the focus will center on what people can do. The people featured in the program, JDew, says, chose to say something. “They saw problems. They saw issues. They saw hurting,” JDew says. “They decided to speak.”
For the discussion with Lewis, JDew plans to ask some questions crowdsourced by the community.
“I am so excited to be part of a program representing the Sheriff’s Office that is shaping the future of our community with real dialogue,” Lewis says.
According to JDew, it’s the perfect time to listen to stories of the past civil rights struggles. “It’s a great time for people to continue listening, continue learning and be sympathetic,” he says.
You can register for One Voice for free at Onevoiceshow.com.