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Andre E. Johnson
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Andre E. Johnson is the Dr. James L. Netters Professor of Rhetoric and Religion and African American Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary. He is also Senior Pastor of Gifts of Life Ministries in Memphis, Tennessee and blogs at Rhetoric Race and Religion. He is the author of the award winning"The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition" (Lexington Books) and is currently editing the works of Bishop Turner under the "Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner" (Edwin Mellen Press). He is also the editor of Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality. Follow him on Twitter @examinereligion

Entries by Andre E. Johnson

No Cowards Here: Boycotts as Non-Violent Resistance

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 12:19 PM

In what would become his last public speech, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, in Memphis, Tennessee, told the audience in Mason Temple that night:

Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal... We don't...
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A Letter From the Brothers: We Support Women -- Period.

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 11:31 AM

Bishop Joseph Walker and the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCF) launched a "new kingdom initiative and ministry paradigm" that focused on a "progressive agenda to promote church, social and political reform" via a "five point platform." This historic gathering was by invitation only and featured prominent,...

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Assault in Academia: My Meeting at RCA, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 2:48 PM

This first appeared in the Rhetoric Race and Religion blog

Click here to read part 1


The first thing that ran through my mind was, "Did I just get slapped upside the head? Who would do something like that?" The slap startled me; yes,...

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Assault in Academia: My Meeting at RCA, Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 6:52 PM

This first appeared on the Rhetoric Race and Religion blog.

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I was looking forward to attending the National Communication Association (NCA) conference this year in Washington, D.C. Truthfully, I look forward to the conference every year, because it is my chance to see so...

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Bishop Turner's Emancipation and Rev. King's Dream

(1) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 6:01 PM

*Note: A portion of this post was given at the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., on August 23, 2013.

One hundred years ago, in 1913, African Americans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In respond to the celebration, the AME Church asked Bishop...

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This Time It Was Different: Antoinette Tuff and the Use of Non-Violence

(9) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 5:09 PM

On Tuesday August 20, 2013, Michael Brandon Hill, a man dressed in black and carrying an AK-47 with 500 rounds of ammunition entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with the intent of shooting and killing everyone he could. But then he met Antoinette Tuff, the school bookkeeper. In...

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If You Don't Work, You Should Not Eat: The Hypocrisy of Congressional Public Theologians

(23) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 2:22 PM

In our season of continued austerity, (despite evidence that it is not working), the House Agriculture Committee met to discuss cutting 4.1 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) or SNAP program. The highlight (or lowlight, depending on your preference) from the hearings was...

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Rhetoric, Race and Religion: The Civil Rights Movement

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 12:41 PM

This summer for two weeks at Memphis Theological Seminary, I get to teach "Rhetoric of Race: The Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement." In this class, we engage in a careful reading of major sermons, speeches and writings during the Civil Rights Era (1954-1965). From this, by grounding...

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Flags in Our Churches: A Conversation

(12) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 3:41 PM

I had a brief conversation after service with someone who noticed that we do not have the American flag in the sanctuary during our worship services. He wanted to know why and wondered aloud if I had a problem with the flag. I guess he wanted to make sure that...

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The Rhetorical Meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 10:30 AM

As we celebrate the 150th year of the Emancipation Proclamation, historian Kidada Williams reminds us that as we celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the document, we should examine what the emancipation did and did not do. Williams notes that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a...

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Toward an Irrelevant Faith: Reflecting On Conservative Christianity And The Elections

(87) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 12:40 PM

As I reflect on the 2012 election, there are two groups that come to mind. The first group is conservative evangelicals who, despite their former beliefs and protestations about Mormonism, supported Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon. As I wrote about earlier, when I began to see this trend...

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Learning to Speak:The Rhetorical Education of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 2:08 PM

In my last post, I offered a brief biographical sketch of Turner. In this post, I want to discuss Turner's rhetorical education. In my book, The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition, I argue that Turner was one of the...

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The Enigma That Was Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

(1) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 10:26 AM

In my previous post, I shared with you the story of a woman who attended and graduated from Henry McNeal Turner High School but did not know the man for which officials named the school. This of course was a story I heard before because many people have not heard...
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The Lost Voice of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 7:58 PM

I have just returned from the Association of the Society of African American Life and History (ASALH) where I had the opportunity to present work on Bishop Henry McNeal Turner as part of my on going effort to reclaim the prophet voice of Turner. After presenting my paper, "Cry in the...

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Romney's Truth and 'Those People': The Dependent Victims of Government Assistance

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 12:00 PM

As expected, there has been much talk about Mitt Romney's inelegant but candid remarks about "those people." Those people he referred to were the 47 percent of people he claimed did not pay any income tax. As Mother Jones reported, Romney went on to say that, "those people"...

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The Evolution of Conservative Evangelicals, or How They Came to Love Mormonism

(17) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 3:51 PM

A version of this post first appeared in Rhetoric Race and Religion.

Now that Mitt Romney will formally accept the Republican Party nomination next week in Tampa, one major constituency group within the GOP will find itself wrestling with party vs. faith. The party leaders will ask conservative...

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Politicians, Prophecy and the Rhetorical Construction of God

(159) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 5:07 PM

The tragedy that hit Aurora, Colo., has brought with it many responses that examine the gruesome shooting from a religious lens. We at Rhetoric Race and Religion have collected many of them. While many of these responses have been consoling and comforting, asking for pray and to...

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