Andre Johnson Honored for Distinguished Service in Africana Communication

Andre E. Johnson, the Benjamin W. Rawlings Jr. professor of rhetoric and media studies in the department of communication and film at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, has received the 2023 Orlando L. Taylor Distinguished Scholarship Award in Africana Communication. Presented annually by the National Communication Association, the prize honors a scholar whose work has contributed to the study of African American or African Diaspora communication and culture.

In addition to his role at the University of Memphis, Dr. Johnson also serves as the Andrew Mellon Just Transformation Satellite Partner at the Center for Black Digital Research at Pennsylvania State University, a national research fellow at Indiana University-Purdue University’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, and a visiting scholar at the Memphis Theological Seminary and Christian Theological Seminary in Indiana.

Dr. Johnson’s area of research focuses on the intersection of rhetoric, race, and religion. He teaches classes in African American public address, rhetorical criticism, religious communication, prophetic rhetoric, homiletics, and the rhetoric of social movements. His research endeavors have led him to authoring three award-winning books including No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (University Press of Mississippi, 2020).

“I am indeed honored to receive this prestigious award named for a person who meant so much to the study of Communication,” said Dr. 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.”

At native of Memphis, Dr. Johnson graduated from the University of Tennessee Martin where he majored in communication. He received a master of divinity degree from Memphis Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Memphis.

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