In today’s episode, Rick and Sam are joined by Dr. Andre E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies in the Department of Communication and Film at the University of Memphis, to discuss current and historical rhetoric used in civil rights and social movements. The conversation touches on the importance of honestly reckoning with our history of race and civil rights, the potential obstacles to lasting progress in issues facing our country, why it is important to be both an optimist and a pessimist about our future, and how individuals acting ethically and authentically in relationships deliver real change.

Dr. Andre Johnson 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 . He has already published the first six volumes, and the seventh one is set for publication in 2021. Additionally, 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 the editor of Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality and his latest book is No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner.

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, and more recently, the rhetoric of Tyler Perry.

Additional Information: www.aejohnsonphd.com/


Sam Scinta is President and Founder of IM Education, a non-profit, and Lecturer in Political Science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rick Kyte is Endowed Professor and Director of the DB Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. 
Music compliments of Bobby Bridger- “Rendezvous” from A Ballad of the West.