UofM Professor Andre E. Johnson Receives Prestigious Award in Africana Communication from National Communication Association

Andre E Johnson photo

Feb. 6, 2024 — The National Communication Association (NCA) recently named Andre E. Johnson, PhD, as the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Orlando L. Taylor Distinguished Scholarship Award in Africana Communication.

The award honors a scholar whose body of work demonstrates a sustained commitment to the study of African American and/or the African Diaspora communication and culture.

As the Benjamin W. Rawlings Jr. professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication & Film, Johnson has dedicated his scholarship to studying the intersection of rhetoric, race and religion. He also teaches classes in African American public address, rhetorical criticism, religious communication, prophetic rhetoric, homiletics and the rhetoric of social movements.

“I am indeed honored to receive this prestigious award named for a person who meant so much to the study of Communication," said Johnson. “My aim is to continue to serve and work in ways that not only highlight and center Africana communication but also to continue to build on the legacy of Dr. Orlando Taylor.”

Johnson and other award recipients were honored during the organization’s 109th Annual Convention in National Harbor, Maryland. andre e johnson receiving nca award

“NCA’s annual awards honor communication scholars’ teaching, scholarship and service,” said NCA Interim Executive Director Justin Danowski. “NCA is proud to recognize Dr. Andre E. Johnson’s significant contributions to the Communication discipline with this award.”

 Johnson exemplifies the essence and spirit of Orlando J. Taylor through scholarship, teaching and service, integrating theory and social justice activism to promote what he refers to as the "Africana turn" at the intersection of public address, religion and history. His transdisciplinary approach to rhetoric and communication and passion for mentoring will continue to shape current and future generations of Black scholars in the field and beyond.

Johnson is also the Andrew Mellon Just Transformation Satellite Partner at the Center for Black Digital Research at Penn State University, a National Research Fellow for the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture and a visiting scholar at Memphis Theological Seminary and Christian Theological Seminary.

He is the author of three national award-winning books, The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition (2012), The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter (with Amanda Nell Edgar, PhD, 2018) and No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (2020).

Johnson is also the editor of The Speeches of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner: The Press, the Platform, and the Pulpit (2023) and Preaching During a Pandemic: The Rhetoric of the Black Preaching Tradition (with Kimberly P. Johnson, PhD and Wallis C. Baxter IV, PhD, 2023). His latest book (with Amanda Nell Edgar) is The Summer of 2020: George Floyd and the Resurgence of Black Lives Matter Movement coming out in Spring 2024.

Founded in 1914, the NCA advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry.



Jennifer Godwin
Director of Media and Public Relations
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