by Elyse Cheatham
From King impersonator to Councilman, Stephon Ferguson is pushing to “Keep the dream alive”
People all over the world are familiar with the legacy of Dr. King. Luckily for those who long for the experience of hearing King speak in person, an Atlanta resident, Stephon Ferguson is keeping the dream alive as a licensed reenactor.
Ferguson brings Dr. King’s words to life through his performances and many times moving audiences to tears. Through his reenactments, Ferguson has found himself inspired by King to be a leader of the community.
True to the city, where King was born and called home, Ferguson is now running for Atlanta City Council, District 2. Ferguson is a resident of the same neighborhood that houses the Marin Luther King Jr. Historic district as he prepares for the election. Ferguson has described this talent and calling to politics as “being able to reinvigorate Dr. King for a younger generation and keep his dream alive through service for the community of Atlanta.”
InDaHouseMedia had a chance to chat with Stephon Ferguson about his campaign and what Dr. King’s vision means to him…. here’s what we learned:
Ferguson’s impersonations have granted him engagements all over the world, even as far as London, England. He is the only licensed impersonator….
“My first public appearance was in 2003 and in 2005, I sent the King family a cd of my performance. The family responded letting me know I did not have permission to perform King’s speeches as they are copyrighted. That year, I became licensed and I am the only licensed performer to this day.”
The King family’s reaction…
“After hearing the cd, their response was positive. The first time they heard me in person was on October 10, 2010, which was the 30th Anniversary of the King Center. To be there was an honor and I’m pretty sure I overheard Pastor Bernice King saying my performance was the closest she’s heard anyone sound to impersonating her father. That really touched me.”
One of the most influential people his met…
“Dick Gregory. I met him a few times and each one was amazing. Last minute, I had the opportunity to perform at an awards ceremony in his honor and ended up sitting at his table. His response was that the new generations needed to hear me perform because most living today were not even born at the time of King’s teachings. I received so much encouragement and wisdom from Dick Gregory and am so happy I had the chance to meet him.
The decision to campaign for Atlanta City Council and his slogan “The dream lives”….
“I had the aspiration to serve. Similar to King, my duty is to serve. My number one vision for the city is housing. There are more homeless people in District 2 than all eleven districts put together. We all think about “the dream” as something we hope will happen. The dream is a living thing and we live it, we walk in it. We have the legacy to continue and develop this community. Grow the economy and develop partnerships through neighborhoods. I have the leadership and responsibility to bring about change through the vision God has given me.”