Title: No Future in this Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner
Presenter: Andre E. Johnson, Ph.D., The University of Memphis
Affiliation: Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Media Studies, The University of Memphis
Date/Time: Monday, January 17, 2022, 6-7 pm EST
Description: In my new book, No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, I examine the public career of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (1834–1915), specifically focusing on his work from 1896 to 1915. Drawing on the copious amount of material from Turner’s speeches, editorial, and open and private letters, I tell a story of how Turner provided rhetorical leadership during a period in which America defaulted on many of the rights and privileges gained for African Americans during Reconstruction. Unlike many of his contemporaries during this period, Turner did not opt to proclaim an optimistic view of race relations. Instead, I argue that Turner adopted a prophetic persona of a pessimistic prophet who not only spoke truth to power but, in so doing, also challenged and pushed African Americans to believe in themselves.
Link to Recorded Webinar: https://vimeo.com/667083827
Learn more about Dr. Johnson here: https://www.memphis.edu/communication/people/johnson.php