Prof Johnson

Andre E. Johnson


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About Dr. Johnson

Andre E. Johnson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis. He teaches classes in African American Public Address, Rhetoric Race and Religion, Media Studies, Interracial Communication, Rhetoric, and Popular Culture, and Hip Hop Studies. He is currently collecting and editing the works of AME Church Bishop Henry McNeal Turner under the title The Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner (Edwin Mellen Press). He has already published the first six volumes, and the seventh one is set for publication in 2020. Additionally, along with his academic titles, he currently serves as Senior Pastor of Gifts of Life Ministries an inner-city church built upon the servant leadership philosophy in Memphis, Tennessee.

In addition to collecting the writings of Bishop Turner, Dr. Johnson is the co-author (with Amanda Nell Edgar) of The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. He is also the author of The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition (2012) that won the National Communication Association (NCA) 2013 African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award. He is the editor of Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality (2013) and he is also finishing No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner which the University Press of Mississippi plans to release in 2020. He also serves as the founder and managing editor of the popular Rhetoric Race and Religion blog hosted on the Patheos family of blogs. He is also the curator and director of the Henry McNeal Turner Project (#HMTProject); a digital archive dedicated to the writings and study of Bishop Turner.

Dr. Johnson has presented academic papers at national, regional, and state conferences winning awards at each level, has published essays in the journal Religions, Howard Journal of Communications, Southern Communication Journal, Black Theology Journal, The New York Times, Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric and the Journal of Religion and Communication. He holds membership in several national, regional and state associations in the areas of Communication, History, African American Studies, and Religious Studies.

In addition to what many consider groundbreaking work on Bishop Turner, Dr. Johnson maintains an eclectic research agenda. Ongoing research projects explore the nexus between rhetoric, theology and the Bible, religion and politics, the rhetoric of President Barack Obama, religion and media, the prophetic rhetoric of W.E.B. Du Bois, Donald Trump and more recently, the rhetoric of Tyler Perry.


Ph.D., University of Memphis
MDiv, Memphis Theological Seminary
BS, University of Tennessee at Martin

Areas of Research:

Rhetoric, Race, and Religion, Civil Rights and Social Movements, African American Public Address, African American Communication and Rhetoric, African American Studies, Media Studies, Homiletics, Henry McNeal Turner, Religious Rhetoric, Religious Studies, Race/Critical Race Theory Studies, Hip Hop Studies, Public Speaking, Black Church

Below is a list of publications from 2018-2019. To see Dr. Johnson's complete CV, please click here.


(with Amanda Nell Edgar) The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Lexington Books, 2018
An African American Pastor Before and During the American Civil War Vol. 6. Edwin Mellen Press, 2018

(with Katherine Whitfield) Tyler Perry and the Rhetoric of Madea: Contrasting Performances of Perry's Leading Lady as She Appears on Stage and Screen. Religions. Vol 10.7, 2019

(with Earle J. Fisher). "But, I Forgive You": Mother Emanuel, Black Pain and the Rhetoric of Forgiveness. Journal of Communication and Religion. Vol. 42 No. 1. 2019

Dislocations and Shutdowns: MLK, BLM and the Rhetoric of Confrontation. Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric Vol. 8 No. 3, 2018

(with Anthony J. Stone) "The Most Dangerous Negro in America": Rhetoric, Race and the Prophetic Pessimism of Martin Luther King Jr. Journal of Communication and Religion. Vol. 41 No. 1 2018 (p. 8-22)


Fighting the Devil with Fire: The Political Career of Henry McNeal Turner. The Handbook of Research on Black Males: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Multidisciplinary. Theodore S. Ransaw, C. P. Gause, and Richard Majors (eds). Michigan State Press. 2018 27-44


"From the Mountain Top and Beyond: Contemporary Meanings and Understandings of the Rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr., 50 Years Later" Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric *Special Issue (2018).

(with Christopher A. House) Communication, Religion, and Race in America: 50 Years Later and Where Do We Go from Here? Journal of Communication and Religion (2018).

You can learn more about Dr. Johnson by clicking here.