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Andre E. Johnson to discuss themes of recent book, 'The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter,' at virtual lecture Nov. 5

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Dr. Andre E. Johnson

Lipscomb University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences presents a special virtual lecture and Q&A session featuring Dr. Andre E. Johnson in a discussion of “Rhetoric, Race and Spirituality of Black Lives Matter” on Thursday, Nov. 5

The virtual lecture and Q&A session begins at 7 p.m. CST. It is free and open to the public. The lecture may be viewed live at this link. Viewers will be able to submit questions during the virtual lecture. 

Johnson, associate professor at the University of Memphis and scholar-in-residence at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, will explore issues discussed in his 2018 book The Struggle Over Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, co-authored by Amanda Nell Edgar.

In their book, the authors examined the complex relationship between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter as it unfolded on social media and in offline interpersonal relationships. Exploring cultural influences like family history, fear, religion, post racialism, and workplace pressure, they traced the meanings of these movements from the perspectives of ordinary participants. The book ties together online and offline, national and local, and personal and political to understand one of the defining social justice struggles of our time. The Struggle won the 2018 National Communication Association African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book Award.

“I believe in open conversation, and I believe that is one great legacy of the liberal arts,” said Dr. David Holmes, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. “The liberal arts involve conversations that can sometimes be difficult, but the ultimate goal is achieving and maintaining humanity and civility within robust conversations. Dr. Johnson is here to introduce  a topic which to some is controversial but is also complex. Difficult conversations can ideally bring us closer together with people who don’t look like us or think like us. That’s really what the liberal arts are about. The liberal arts  are ultimately about achieving community from  universal perspectives.”

Johnson 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 the editor of the Lexington Book series on Race, Religion and Rhetoric, and is currently collecting and editing the works of AME Church Bishop Henry McNeal Turner under the title “The Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner.” 

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. He is also the author of The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition, Urban God Talk: Constructing a Hip Hop Spirituality and No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (to be released in 2020). 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.

Lipscomb University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 

Studying the liberal arts and sciences at Lipscomb University prepares you for more than a major, for even more than a job. Most majors and jobs require creative, critical and collaborative thinkers … and in Lipscomb’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, we train the finest thinkers. But thinking well means more when we live well. That’s why studying the liberal arts at Lipscomb is mainly about character. Academic knowledge and marketable skills grounded in Christian values and virtues. Lipscomb’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees in both traditional and innovative learning environments in languages and literature, psychology, communication, mathematics, natural sciences, history, politics and philosophy. Interdisciplinary programs are offered in all areas, while a professional program is available in social work. Graduate programs in psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy and biomolecular sciences are also offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The university’s highly respected and successful pre-med program is also housed there as well. The Lanier Center for Archaeology is the newest program launched by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The center will offer academic programs and field research projects as well as bring extensive resources and artifacts to Lipscomb University. The Lanier Center for Archaeology plans to offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and a Master of Arts in Archaeology and Biblical Studies beginning in January 2021. For more information visit www.lipscomb.edu/arts-sciences.