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The Forgotten Prophet: Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and the African American Prophetic Tradition, by Andre E. Johnson, is a study of the prophetic rhetoric of 19th century African Methodist Episcopal Church bishop Henry McNeal Turner. By locating Turner within the African American prophetic tradition, Johnson examines how Bishop Turner adopted a prophetic persona. As one of America’s earliest black activists and social reformers, Bishop Turner made an indelible mark in American history and left behind an enduring social influence through his speeches, writings, and prophetic addresses. This text offers a definition of prophetic rhetoric and examines the existing genres of prophetic discourse, suggesting that there are other types of prophetic rhetorics, especially within the African American prophetic tradition. In examining these modes of discourses from 1866-1895, this study further examines how Turner’s rhetoric shifted over time. It examines how Turner found a voice to article not only his views and positions, but also in the prophetic tradition, the views of people he claimed to represent. The Forgotten Prophet is a significant contribution to the study of Bishop Turner and the African American prophetic tradition.
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Dr. Andre E. Johnson is pleased to announce the publication of "An African American Pastor Before and During the American Civil War: The Literary Archive of Henry McNeal Turner, Vol 2; The Chaplain Writings" (Edwin Mellen Press, 2012). This is the second of a proposed 12 volume series that aims at collecting the  letters, speeches, sermons and essays of Turner.  Volume 2 consists of 38 writings while Turner served as a Chaplain during the American Civil War from 1863-1865. 

He argues that one of the reasons why we have not fully examine the life and career of Henry McNeal Turner is because we did not have a collection of his writings. Dr. Johnson attempts to remedy this by collecting all the writings he can find on this 19th century AME bishop. Between the two volumes (Mellen Press), we now have 101 writings of Turner from 1859-1865. The first volume focuses on his life as a pastor in Baltimore and Washington DC and the second volume focuses on Turner's writings while he served as chaplain of the Union Army from 1863-1865. 

Purchase Volume 2 here for the reduced rate of only $45

Praise for the Volumes:

Dr. Andre E. Johnson’s scholarship on the life, work, and writings of The Henry McNeal Turner recovers an incredibly important aspect of African American history.  It is always an important occasion when a scholar goes beyond the study of well known historical figures to re-introduce a leader who lived beyond the limits of current life memories, and whose efforts paved the way for current benefits. The volumes that will follow, document Turner’s contributions to history through his copious writings. Dr Johnson, a rhetorician, theologian, professor and pastor, is uniquely suited to edit volumes that will enhance our understanding of Turner’s work and the political, theological, and legal issues of the antebellum and reconstruction period.-Barbara A. Holmes, Professor of Ethics and African American Studies, Memphis Theological Seminary

In this collection of writings and speeches Dr. Andre E. Johnson opens up an aspect of American history that has been unavailable to scholars and general readers, the history of African Americans during the last half of the 19th-century and early 20th-century revealed through the mind of a southern black man.  Johnson characterizes Henry McNeal Turner as a public intellectual of his time given the range of topics he addresses and the vast quantity of his published and unpublished writing.  We see American history from an uncommon angle, from the point of view of a black man striving to find freedom and equality for all people of color in a society that condoned racism and racist practices.-Sandra Sarkela, Associate Professor of Communications, University of Memphis

Thank you ever so much for the new scholarship on a mainstay personality of the nineteenth century. McNeal Turner was an unusual and intellectually stalwart human being.This kind of research will be of use not only to historians but to literary critics and so many others not to mention  people interested in his theology, his race insights even the ideas these volumes will lend to anyone wanting to do a psychoanalytic analysis of his work. Thank you ever so much for this.

Purchase volume 1 here for only $45