Prof Johnson

Andre E. Johnson


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(901) 678-4331
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Andre E. Johnson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication and Film 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 (2018) that won the 2018 National Communication Association (NCA) African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award. He is also the author of The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition (2012) that won the same national award in 2013. He is the editor of Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality (2013) and his latest book is 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 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 have 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
M.Div., Memphis Theological Seminary
B.S., 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 2019-2020. To see Dr. Johnson's complete CV, please click here.


No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner. University Press of Mississippi, 2020

(with Amanda Nell Edgar) The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Lexington Books, (Paperback) 2020


(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

Book Chapters:

"Rhetoric of Confrontation: Black Lives Matter and the Shutdown of the Hernando De Soto (I-40) Bridge." The Routledge Handbook of the Rhetoric of Social Movements: Networks, Power, and New Media. Nathan Crick ed. (2020)

"I Had to Pass Through Blood and Fire": Henry McNeal Turner: The Political Rhetoric of Henry McNeal Turner During Reconstruction. "Remembering the Memphis Massacre: An American Story" Susan O'Donovan and Beverly Bond (eds.) University of Georgia Press. (2020)

(with Dianna Watkins-Dickerson) "Fighting to be Heard: Shirley Chisholm and the Makings of a Womanist Rhetorical Framework" in Gender, Race, and Social Identity in American Politics edited by Lori L. Montalbano. Lexington Books. 2019, 155-168

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. 2019 27-44

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